An international team of archaeologists specialised in battlefield excavations is headed for Waterloo in Belgium on the 200th anniversary of Napoleon’s famous defeat at the hands of British and Prussian forces.
Tony Pollard, head of the Centre for Battlefield Archaeology at the University of Glasgow, told the press agency AFP that the excavations starting in April will allow a better understanding of the confrontation. “We hope archaeology can provide answers to many of the questions about Waterloo that remain unanswered,” Mr Pollard said on Monday. “These include the location of graves, which from accounts appear to have been scattered across a wide area,” he added.
Tens of thousands of bodies are believed to have been buried in mass graves at the site after the June 18, 1815 clash which forced Napoleon into exile. The project, named “Waterloo Uncovered”, is the brainchild of two British army officers from the Coldstream Guards, which played a decisive role in the battle under the Duke of Wellington’s command.
The team of Belgian, British, French and German archaeologists will be accompanied by British army veterans — some of them wounded in recent campaigns. The excavation will be supervised by Belgian authorities charged with preserving the historic site and the organisation that is overseeing preparations for a large-scale commemoration this summer.