Virtual Tour of the Excavation at DigHill80
DigHill80 was an archaeological project funded in large part by you, the viewers of Forgotten Weapons. Hill 80 was a German fortified position in World War One outside the Belgian town of Wijtschate. In 2015 and exploratory excavation prior to construction on the site discovered remarkably extensive and well preserved trenches. Belgian law required a minimum level of historical investigation, but the archaeologists on the site felt the site deserved a much more extensive excavation, and they set up a KickStarter to fund it.
You responded, and the dig was fully funded. It began this spring, and has just now concluded - the time frame was short because of the construction that is scheduled to begin on the site. This is not a place that can become a permanent site; it was an effort to find and record as much as possible in the brief window allowed. In addition to a multitude of artifacts found, more than 100 soldiers were recovered from the site, now able to be given proper burial in their respective national cemeteries. German, French, and British men all fought and died in these trenches.
I was hoping to be able to visit the site while the dig was underway, but unfortunately I wasn't able to. However, thanks to Simon Verdegem (the lead archaeologist) we have a virtual tour here of the site on its final day. Thanks, Simon!
The overall findings from the dig are going to be presented in London on November 12th, and I will be attending that event. If you are interested in joining me, you can find full details and purchase tickets here:
London Event: Presentation of Findings - with Dan Snow & Al Murray
Join the entire Dig Hill 80 team for a debrief of the excavation and detailed presentation of the findings. Artefacts, videos, and key information will all be shared. This is your opportunity to meet fellow backers and ask the Dig Hill 80 team questions about the excavation, its findings, and the wider implications on
Hill80 project home page:
In 2015, during test trenching, a team of archaeologists discovered a well-preserved German strongpoint at a ridge top near the village Of Wijtschate (also known as Wytschaete — or ‘Whitesheet’ to the British). Wijtschate had been captured by the Germans at the end of 1914, who went on to build into what became formidable fortress that would only be breached in 1917 during the Battle of Messines.