Birger Stichelbaut

Birger Stichelbaut
Ghent University | UGhent · Department of Archaeology

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87
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Publications

Publications (87)
Article
Full-text available
Disturbances are an integral part of ecosystem dynamics. However, large- scale, intensive and non-recurrent disturbances often have disastrous and sometimes irreversible consequences for biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. In this article we study the impact of World War I on biodiversity in frontline forests that were totally destroyed. By loo...
Article
Full-text available
During World War One (WWI) many forests along the frontline were completely destroyed and wept out a large part of the biological diversity. Therefore, these forests provide the opportunity to study the effects of such a large-scale disturbance on biodiversity recovery 100 years later. We analysed harvestmen (Opiliones) communities in oak forests b...
Article
Purpose Over a century of state-sponsored construction of monuments, historic mythmaking and nationalist framings of WWI has ensured that it has become notoriously difficult to present the heritage of the Great War in an inclusive and non-selective way. In this paper the authors present a strategy and technology-driven solutions to overcome the sel...
Article
The First World War (1914–1918) wreaked an overwhelming damage in Flanders. Allied and German forces battled four years, transforming the pre-war landscape with scenic views into a destroyed landscape fully covered with craters. Afterwards, the landscape was entirely reconstructed by the help of local initiatives and by national and international p...
Chapter
When the First World War ended, the landscape had been transformed into a wasteland. Later, the population faced the challenge of rebuilding the region. Many traces of the war were then wiped out. Everywhere, the archaeological remains are slumbering in the soil, barely 30 cm deep and invisible to the visitors. It took a while before the remains of...
Article
The surface scars of the First World War (WWI; 1914–1918) are rapidly disappearing due to modern and fast changing landscapes. Therefore, there is a need to monitor landscape relicts that mark our past. This study examines depressions caused by shelling. These shell holes are still present today and are one of the last remains of the military impac...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
During the period 2014-2018, the commemoration of the First World War is taking place. This conflict destroyed besides the societies and their mode of life, also directly landscapes. This paper studies the conflict landscape in Flanders, an area located on the former Western Front in Belgium, which was the theatre of warfare for four long years. Th...
Article
In the past decade, the research of archaeological remains from World War I has become mainstream. This article uses non-destructive techniques to investigate the possible material remains of tank warfare in Belgium. During World War I, tanks were used for the first time as a 'land battleship' in order to break through the stalemate in the trenches...
Article
Full-text available
Geophysical prospection as a non-invasive archaeological survey technique has become a widely applied discipline that is currently finding its way into the former World War One (WW1) battlefields. Because of the imminent danger of unexploded ordnances, non-invasiveness is the key to exploring the subsurface containing our buried heritage. Fluxgate...
Article
The First World War (WWI) had a notable influence on the landscape at the former Western Front in Belgium. Research on a landscape scale is necessary to understand the destructive and constructive impact of the war and its consequences for the postwar landscape in a holistic manner. This paper focuses on the trajectory and impact analysis of three...
Article
Since the end of World War One, only few research is performed to understand the extend of the destruction of the first meters of soil archive at the former Belgian front zone. The only existing sources to identify the by artillery destroyed landscape are maps indicating destruction at the level of administrative communities, based on war damage in...
Article
In light of the growing interest in the Great War – stimulated by the ongoing centennial commemorations – the conflict landscape in Belgium and France is currently the subject of scientific research projects, archaeological excavations, heritage-related initiatives and exhibitions. However, the extent of the archaeological heritage and surface rema...
Presentation
Full-text available
World War I (WWI) strongly marked the landscapes at the different theatres of war, especially along the 750 km Western Front in Belgium and France. In this contribution, a typology of landforms related to the WWI, the so-called “polemo-forms”, is defined in the Champagne sector of the front (115 km long) and the degree of conservation of the landfo...
Article
Full-text available
Archaeological prospection with magnetometer instruments is performed in a wide range of field configurations, ranging from single probe setups to mobile arrays that allow combining multiple sensors. The latter type, whereby instruments are mounted onto a cart system, are particularly prone to motion-induced noise. Sensor tilt, for example, causes...
Article
During the First World War, the stalemate in the trenches resulted in the creation of a vast network of field defences in different theatres of war. The rediscovery of ancient siege techniques, such as military mining and the ever-increasing power of artillery fire, resulted in the creation of an underground world of tunnels and mine galleries deep...
Article
As the centenary commemorations of the Battle of Passchendaele approach, this article is a timely demonstration of how archaeology can provide new insights into the landscape of the Western Front. Assessment of over 9000 aerial photographs taken during the First World War, integrated with other approaches to landscape archaeology, offers a new pers...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Without any demining regulation or active search approach mission, the Belgian WW1 front zone produces each year a minimum of 100 tons unexploded ordnances. In this area, multi-receiver EMI as a large scale mapping technique, showed that high percentages of the remains of the 1914-18 war are still present beneath the surface. Because of the complex...
Article
World War I (WWI) battlefields contain a large diversity of buried features that are situated just below the plough layer. A noninvasive interdisciplinary approach is preferred to characterize the buried heritage embedded within its soil landscape. In this study, the potential of integrating both electrical conductivity and magnetic susceptibility...
Article
In spite of an increase in World War I (WWI)-related excavations in Flanders (Belgium), little is known about the nature and extent of the buried heritage of WWI from research on a landscape scale. This paper examines the combination of historical aerial photographic evidence and geophysical soil sensing. A case study in Comines-Warneton compares d...
Article
During the First World War, ancient siege techniques were used in an attempt to break through the stalemate in the trenches. This paper approaches the mine crater war from a completely new perspective and focuses on a landscape-scale approach rather than on fragmented individual sites. Thousands of contemporary aerial photographs have been used as...
Chapter
Full-text available
The Western Front of World War I is one of the largest continuous archaeological sites in the world. Although fragmented archaeological surveys and inventories of related conflict heritage have been conducted, an overall landscape-scale archaeological investigation of the area has not yet been achieved. The nature and extent of the buried heritage...
Book
Battlefield Events: Landscape, Commemoration and Heritage is an investigative and analytical study into the way in which significant landscapes of war have been constructed and imagined through events over time to articulate specific narratives and denote consequence and identity. The book charts the ways in which a number of landscapes of war have...
Article
Full-text available
The First World War left its mark on the ground surface of Europe as perhaps no other human catastrophe before or since. The author applies modern digital mapping technology to the aerial photographs taken by the intrepid early pilots, and creates a landscape of military works that would not have been known in detail to either historians or general...
Article
Full-text available
Analysis of the organization of archaeological sites in the Dzhazator valley reveals patterns from the Chalcolithic to the Ethnographic period. There is a relationship between the monuments and petroglyphs in the Bronze Age, with a preference for the northern bank in the lower valley. In the early Iron Age and Turkic periods, all parts of the valle...
Article
Полевые работы, связанные с картографированием археологических памятников в долине р. Джазатор (южная часть Горного Алтая), позволили определить принципы пространственной организации разнотипных объектов, датируемых энеолитом – этнографическим временем. Прослежена связь между памятниками и петроглифами бронзового века, расположенными преимущественн...
Article
Increasingly, conventional soil sampling procedures face restrictions because of their destructive character. Hence there is a growing interest in non-invasive techniques, on which proximal soil sensors are based. There is great interest in applying proximal soil sensing to improve the characterization of the buried heritage embedded in the soil la...
Article
With the commemoration of World War I (WWI) under way, a preliminary stocktaking can be made of archaeological research into the physical remains of this war. The question is to what extent the perspective on the study of WWI heritage, and consequently the way in which archaeological research into WWI remains has been conducted, has evolved over th...
Article
During the First World War, millions of aerial photographs were taken by all fighting countries. Aerial photographs were taken extensively across the different theatres of war documenting a conflict landscape from which the relicts often remain visible as scars on the landscape. The aerial photographs which were taken during the conflict also provi...
Article
The archaeological evaluation of landscapes in the framework of developer-led archaeology is often based on extensive trenching programmes complemented with auger surveys in wetland environments. During the archaeological evaluation of a 90 ha polder site in the north-west of Belgium, a mobile multi-receiver electromagnetic induction (EMI) survey w...
Article
Full-text available
The approaching centenary of the start of World War I and the booming cultural tourism at the former Western Front in Belgium, combined with recent urbanisation and agricultural intensification processes, have promoted the demand for a more effective and sustainable heritage management. In addition, there is need for interdisciplinary research on h...
Article
The prospection and evaluation of former battlefields of the Great War or the First World War (WW I) poses specific challenges. For several reasons, large-scale excavation campaigns of this conflict landscape are problematic. The vastness of the former Western Front (one of the largest archaeological sites in the world), the large amounts of buried...
Article
The unique rock art of the Russian Altai is increasingly suffering from human and natural processes. Without well-directed action and documentation it will be practically impossible to establish conservation initiatives and, eventually, many of these sites will be lost. This paper presents an overview of the different processes affecting this rock...
Article
In the course of their research campaign in Siberia, Ghent University archaeologists have developed a simple and cost effective method for the rapid 3D imaging of rock art, standing stelae and surface monuments. Their procedure will undoubtedly have a big role to play in archaeological research in advance of the oil pipeline expected soon.
Article
Full-text available
Rough set and fuzzy set are two frequently used approaches for modelling and reasoning about imperfect time intervals. In this paper, we focus on imperfect time intervals that can be modelled by rough sets and use an innovative graphic model [i.e. the triangular model (TM)] to represent this kind of imperfect time intervals. This work shows that TM...
Article
This article reviews the potential of archives of historic aerial photographs for European archaeology. Their roles in primary site discovery, in monitoring condition and material change, and in understanding landscape development with particular reference to the implementation of the European Landscape Convention are discussed. The major sources a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
For a few years, structure from motion has been commercially applied and 3D models are discussed in recent literature. Structure from motion is known to be a relatively fast and low-cost technique for the generation of photo-realistic 3D models. This technique uses a series of digi-tal images of an object or site, taken from different positions. In...
Article
Although the Belgian lowlands witnessed a dense rural occupation in Roman and especially in medieval times, the exact nature of the settlement patterns, the farms and the interaction with the landscape is still poorly understood archaeologically, both scientifically and from a heritage curatorship point of view. Archaeogeophysical research has rema...
Article
During the first months of World War One, most armies realized the strength and possibilities of a new weapon: military aviation carrying out aerial reconnaissance. Pilots and observers became the eyes of the army. Aerial photographs were taken all over the different theatres of war, documenting a cultural landscape from which the relicts are often...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Laserscanning is a well known technology in a various range of scientific disciplines. This paper focuses on the manipulation of high resolution DTMs (Digital Terrain Models), to detect relicts in the landscape, dating from the First World War. Possible objects to detect are fire- and communication trenches, artillery emplacements and other feature...
Article
Full-text available
Every event has an extent in time, which is usually described by crisp time intervals. However, under some circumstances, temporal extents of events are imperfect, and therefore cannot be adequately modelled by crisp time intervals. Rough sets and fuzzy sets are two frequently used tools for representing imperfect temporal information. In this pape...
Article
Recent military battlefield sites are often recorded by accident during geophysical investigations researching into earlier archaeological landscapes. The First World War (Great War) perhaps left its traces like no other war before or since in Europe. For the first time, a large area, some 16 ha in extent, has been surveyed over a modern conflict l...
Article
During World War One, for the first time, aerial photography rapidly developed as an intelligence tool that saw large-scale application by all fighting nations. Large numbers of these photographs have survived in archives all over Europe, the United States and even Australia. These are a remarkable primary record of the progress of World War One, a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A lot of disciplines (e.g. archaeology) have to process imprecise temporal information. There are different possibilities to handle this kind of information, amongst them e.g. fuzzy set theory and rough set theory. In this paper, due to its capability in the context of many data acquisition applications, the focus has been set on rough set theory....
Thesis
During World War One, for the first time, aerial photography rapidly developed as an intelligence tool that saw large scale application by all fighting nations. Huge numbers of these photographs have survived in archives all over Europe, the United States and even Australia. These are a remarkable primary record of the progress of World War One, bu...