A Gallipoli landscape of war and memory
Edited by Antonio Sagona, Mithat Atabay, C.J Mackie, Ian McGibbon and Richard Reid
Published by Cambridge University Press
RRP $69.95 in hardcover
Published as a result of a Joint Historical Archaeological Survey conducted during 2010-14 by experts from Australia, New Zealand and Turkey, this book, with its stellar cast of authors, examines the transformation of the Anzac landscape at Gallipoli in the 100 years since that ill-fated campaign.
This first comprehensive archaeological survey of the Gallipoli battlefield had its origins in the recommendations of a report by an Australian Senate enquiry in 2005.
In the five years of fieldwork that followed, the survey team recovered over 1,000 objects. Interestingly, the work did not involve excavations as all artefacts collected were lying on the ground.
The curator of the Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance Anzac Battlefield Exhibition, Dr Andrew Jamieson, noted that “the archaeological survey found fewer artefacts on the Turkish side of the battlefield compared with the countless food containers on the Allied side, where there were cans of bully beef. This showed that while the Allied soldiers had a diet of canned food, the Ottoman soldiers had access to fresh food, like bread and vegetables.”
Beautifully illustrated with both Ottoman and Anzac images and excellent maps, this fine book adds considerably to our understanding of the Gallipoli battlefield. The contemporary photographs showing the artefacts in situ are particularly interesting – it’s surprising just how much remained after a century of exposure to the elements.