Operation Nightingale USA: Archaeology as a Vehicle for Peer Support in the Veteran Community


The potential archaeological fieldwork holds for facilitating positive change among disabled military veterans has only recently begun to be explored. Since 2012 three dedicated veterans’ archaeology programs have been developed within the United Kingdom (Breaking Ground Heritage, Operation Nightingale, and Waterloo: Uncovered), and one has been created within the United States (Operation Nightingale USA). These programs share an interest in integrating disabled serving and ex-service personnel into a supportive new community, providing them with transferable skills that may or may not lead to a career in archaeology, and increasing wellbeing by providing a sense of purpose. They draw upon methods developed and refined in veteran support organisations over the last decade, emphasising in particular the value of formal and informal peer support. At the same time, veterans’ archaeology programs provide an opportunity to expose a new demographic to the value of cultural heritage. This paper will discuss the application of best practices derived from veteran support organisations to archaeological project organization and field practice, focusing specifically upon the joint Operation Nightingale/Operation Nightingale USA 2016 field season at Malton, North Yorkshire.

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Operation Nightingale USA: Archaeology as a Vehicle for Peer Support in the Veteran Community. Stephen Humphreys, Clarissa DiSantis Humphreys. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430491)

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Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17321