THE UNKNOWN WARRIOR

AN ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE COMMON SOLIDER

By Richard Osgood

 Sutton Publishers 2005 - ISBN 0 7509 3810 2 - 238 pp - 20.00

Richard Osgood is a professional archaeologist who works for the Ministry of Defence, and has a great deal of field experience. This fascinating book looks at the stories of common soldiers from the Bronze Age to the First World War, focusing on how much of what we know about them has been uncovered using archaeology.

The chapter on the First World War gives a broad sweep of the work that has been carried out in recent years, from local groups in France and Belgium, to professional work when areas are under threat (such as with the A19 motorway extension in Flanders), to more 'high profile' groups such as The Diggers and No Man's Land. Little detail of this work is easily accessible in the public domain, and so this book represents the first major attempt to outline what such work can achieve and what it hopes to achieve. While clearly an academic, the author has written a very accessible account and anyone with an interest in the subject or visiting battlefields cannot fail to find this book of interest. It is an important step forward in our understanding of battlefield archaeology, and I hope we will see many more publications of this nature. Highly recommended.

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