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EVANS MEMORIAL LECTURE JOINTLY WITH ASTENE: Lawrence and the Arab Revolt: Archaeology of a Desert Insurgency 1916-18

Nick Saunders, Great Arab Revolt Project (GARP)




4pm, 1st December, 2016, BP Lecture Theatre, Clore Education Centre, British Museum. To book, contact the British Museum Box Office:  020 7323 8181 or     and go to the 'What's On' option at the top of the BM homepage. Then choose the 'Events Calendar'  and scroll down the page to see events listed by date and time.

Poster December 1st 2016.pdf

Southern Redoubt at Mudawwara. N. Saunders

Photo: Southern Redoubt at Mudawwara. Courtesy of Nick Saunders.

Between 2005 and 2014, Bristol University’s ‘Great Arab Revolt Project’ investigated the archaeology and anthropology of the Arab Revolt of 1916-18 in southern Jordan. The discoveries were extraordinary. Expecting to find only the ruins of Hejaz Railway stations destroyed by T.E. Lawrence and the Arabs, we discovered instead a vast conflict landscape of guerrilla actions and counter-insurgency tactics unknown to anyone except the Bedouin. Ottoman Army camps, railway ambushes, Rolls Royce armoured car raiding camps, hilltop forts, machinegun strong-points, and a long-forgotten Royal Flying Corps landing strip all emerged from the desert where modern guerrilla warfare was forged. Ten years of fieldwork investigated the archaeology of conflict produced in less than 18 months, from August 1917 until November 1918.      

Aqabat Hejazia Railway Station. N. Saunders

Photo: Aqabat Hejazia Railway Station Excavation. Courtesy Nick Saunders

Professor Nicholas Saunders is in the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Bristol, U.K. His main research interests are the archaeology and anthropology of landscape, material culture, and cultural memory of 20th and 21st-century conflict in Europe and the Middle East. He is co-director of the ‘Great Arab Revolt Project’ in southern Jordan, and ‘The Isonzo Valley 1915-1918: Conflict Landscapes on the Slovenian-Italian Border’ project. He has worked extensively on the material culture of the First World War in Belgium and France. His most recent books include: Contested Objects: Material Memories of the Great War (2009), 'Killing Time': Archaeology and the First World War (2010), Bodies in Conflict (2014) and The Poppy: A History of Conflict, Loss, Remembrance and Redemption (2014). His monograph on The Great Arab Revolt project will be published by Oxford University Press in 2017.

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