Day 4 (1 April): The Joy of Concrete

Today we discovered something that was not on the aerial photograph of Lager Wick: the concrete base of one or two more buildings of the camp. How can this be? Well, aerial photos are often fuzzy at best, even when increased to very high resolution. You have to zoom in to such an extent that what you are looking at is often very blurred. The other thing to remember is that aerial photos give a snapshot in time, and you never know what was happening outside of that time. Third, when you look at the aerial photo of the camp in 1945, when the wooden platforms had been removed, we cannot tell whether soil or foliage has already covered or been thrown over concrete hut bases. And therefore, when we come along in 2016, we have to be careful to read between the lines.

Day 4 concrete bases (2)

Test pit showing concrete floor of a new building

Interestingly, the soil is very burnt on top of these concrete bases, showing that when the 3 huts burnt down in 1944, the burnt debris was left or swept on top of the concrete bases. Ivar and Isobel extended the trench to see the extent and edge of the concrete hut base.

Day 4 concrete bases (22).JPG

It was then Peter’s turn to get out his Total Station and record the edges of the concrete, which Ivar found using the augur.

Day 3 trenches 5c and 6 (36).JPG

Peter trying unsuccessfully to hide behind his tripod. He may also have been recording the location of the new hut platforms.

Peter’s next task will be to plot the new concrete hut platforms onto what we know the layout of the camp to see whether they are indeed new, or whether they map onto what is already known. We await the results with bated breath! And while we wait, it’s important to stop for Jersey ice cream.

Day 4 concrete bases (29).JPG

Ivar and Isobel sampling the local delights

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About Gilly Carr

I am a Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Cambridge's Institute of Continuing Education. I work in the field of conflict archaeology and POW archaeology, and my fieldwork is based in the Channel Islands.

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