The Archaeology Of Interwar Europe (1918-1939)

Part of: Society for Historical Archaeology 2018

The interwar period was one of extraordinary change. Out of the ashes of WWI grew an increase in consumerism, paradoxically played out alongside the Great Depression. Extreme politics flourished, and authoritarian regimes became established in Spain, Italy, Russia and Germany. The tensions between these new state formations and traditional polities resulted in re-armament and ultimately conflict. Simultaneously, the foundations of the post-War settlement and the welfare states were being laid. These social, economic and political developments all resulted in material developments that can be interrogated archaeologically. Whilst the archaeology of the 1920s and 1930s has been embraced by the research and CRM community in the US, it has largely remained underexplored in Europe, although the archaeology of the two World Wars has become increasingly a topic of interest. This session proposes to address this lacuna in research, highlighting existing work and identifying avenues for further research.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-10 of 10)

  • Documents (10)

  • Archaeological Investigation of North-Eastern English Responses to the Great Depression (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Ronan O'Donnell.

    This paper presents preliminary results of the  Landscapes of the Great Depression Project. Both government agencies and private individuals created schemes to create employment or ameliorate the effects of unemployment during the Great Depression and earlier de-industrialisation. Research is being conducted into four such schemes: two private and two public. All were concerned with material features of industrial society, poverty or unemployment and utilised landscape and material culture to...

  • Dichotomies and Dualities: exploring the landscape impacts of the Great Depression through an archaeological lens (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Kayt Armstrong.

    This paper will present the early results from the landscape strand of a multidisciplinary research project examining the landscape impacts of the Great Depression (1929-39). The goal of this project is to archaeologically investigate the impacts of and responses to the Great Depression in  Northeast England, and to analyse these responses as interventions in the built environment, exploring their landscape impact. Early results indicate tensions between changes in wider culture (the coming of...

  • Exhumation And Reburial Of The War Dead By The Black Cross In Austria Between 1918 And 1938 From An Archaeological Perspective (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Harald Stadler.

    In Austria the Black Cross is responsible for the creation of military cemeteries and other war graves for members of all nations and religious faiths, the graves of bombing victims as well as victims of political and racial persecution during the Second World War, and the care and maintenance of war graves from the time before or during the First World War. This lecture examines the methodological approach adopted by the institution for the  exhumation of individual and mass graves between 1918...

  • From Vienna to Shangri-La: competing visions of the modern and new in Birmingham’s municipal housing (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Emma Dwyer.

    During the 1920s and 1930s local authorities from across Britain visited municipal housing schemes in continental Europe to learn more about the provision of new homes. This included representatives from Birmingham, Britain’s second-largest city, in the midst of replacing crowded urban dwellings. The Birmingham Corporation was particularly impressed by inner-city estates in Hamburg, Vienna and Prague, illustrating their recommendations with photographs of flowerbeds, communal facilities and...

  • Growing Resilience: Allotments For The Unemployed In 1930s Britain (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Hannah Connelly.

    In the late 1920s the Society of Friends began an innovative scheme providing unemployed people with allotment gardens, enabling them to provide for their families by growing fruit and vegetables. Allotment sites are ever changing, reworked by later plotholders or destroyed by redevelopment, however, it is possible to research the archaeology of the Allotments for the Unemployed scheme through annual reports. Using photographs of allotments included in the reports I will discuss boundaries and...

  • Material Narratives of Repression (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Julie de Vos.

    The Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and the establishment of a new social and dictatorial order led by General Francisco Franco were heavily marked by and imposed through tactics of repression. My fieldwork at different points of Spain revolves around the materiality of repression and the interaction between this particular materiality and the local communities. In spite of the fact that this particular materiality appears to be dominated by absence and silence, in this paper I want to explore in...

  • PGIS and Interwar Totalitarian Planning (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Joshua W. Samuels.

    Massive building programs undertaken in Europe between the world wars present a challenge for cultural resource management. While these projects' ambitious goals and often radical reconceptualization of space and social relations are historically noteworthy, their association with totalitarian regimes and repressive politics require careful contextualization. Through the example of agricultural reform in Fascist Italy, this paper advocates for an approach to this challenge through an...

  • Rebellion, Civil War, and Transformation: The Archaeology of Modern Ireland Before and During Europe’s Interwar Period (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Stephen A. Brighton.

    Ireland’s modern history has been largely ignored archaeologically. It was not until the anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising that sparked archaeological interest. The work deals mostly with the actual event, thus forms a study of a single moment in time. What is missing is a  dialogue linking Ireland’s interwar transformations to that happening across Europe after World War I. This presentation seeks to begin the discussion of interwar Ireland through the material culture recovered from the...

  • Representations and Iconography – Images of Finns and Finland in Stamps at the 1930s (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Timo Ylimaunu. Paul R. Mullins. Tuuli S. Koponen.

    In our paper, we will consider the development of nationalist material culture and the national iconography in Finland through postal stamps during the 1930s. Stamps were one media of the state to deliver its’ official national iconographic expressions. We will discuss what kind of images were used in the stamps and what kind of images the young national state delivered of itself to the outside world through stamps. Finland became independent at the 1917. The 1920s and 1930s were the period when...

  • "When Hungate Was Taken Down.........." – Solid And Ephemeral: The Dichotomy At The Heart Of The Archaeology Of Clearance In 1930s York. (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Peter A. Connelly.

    In the early 1930s the Hungate district of York had become renowned as an area of dilapidated buildings and people living in poverty. In parallel to this the York Corporation had embarked on a new housing programme. This new programme required tenants and in an act of self fulfilling prophecy this process drove the demolition of Hungate. This act of clearance is solidly defined in the archaeology, through the remains of levelled buildings and rubble. However, the act of demolition is fleeting...