EXCAVATING WAR AND IDLENESS: THE CASE OF SVÆRHOLT

Abstract

For the last decade, the World War II prisoner-of-war camp and battery at Sværholt in northernmost Norway have been objects of archaeological investigation. This article presents the results from excavations and associated studies, including new descriptions of extant structures and found artefacts, comparative osteological analyses of middens, and their implications. Our purpose in pre-senting these results is to: 1) explore what an extraordinary array of unearthed material can reveal about the conditions and fates of those involved in, or affected by, the German occupation during the war; 2) to show how the archaeology of Sværholt, with all its heterogeneity, leads us in a direction at variance with historical generalizations and expectations; 3) to convey how the extant ruins and remains provide affective glimpses into their formative causes: the abandonment and near-complete destruction of the battery, garrison, hamlet, and POW camp, during a few intense days of evacuation in November 1944.

Description

© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any med-ium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

Keywords

Conflict archaeology, Contemporary archaeology, excavation, Norway, WWII, ruins, POWs

Citation

Stein Farstadvoll, Ingar O. Figenschau, Bjørnar J. Olsen & Christopher L. Witmore (2022) EXCAVATING WAR AND IDLENESS: THE CASE OF SVÆRHOLT, Journal of Conflict Archaeology, 17:2, 87-127, DOI: 10.1080/15740773.2022.2111539

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