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New Zealand historian embarks on final Gallipoli survey session

Ministry for Culture and Heritage war historian Ian McGibbon – New Zealand’s representative on the tri-nation Joint Historical and Archaeological Survey of the Anzac Battlefield at Gallipoli – will soon take part in the fifth and final field session of the biggest battlefield archaeological project ever undertaken at Gallipoli.

Dr Ian McGibbon at an earlier historical and archaeological survey of the Anzac Battlefield at Gallipoli.

The project involves archaeologists, historians and researchers from Turkey, Australia and New Zealand and was established following an agreement in 2005 between the prime ministers of those three countries.

The survey, which began in 2009, has so far traced nearly 13,000 metres of Turkish and Anzac trenches, locating and recording more than 1000 artefacts.

Dr McGibbon explains that, having already traversed most of the front line positions, this year’s focus will be on the areas around Anzac Cove, including Plugge’s Plateau and Shrapnel Valley.

“During that time we will also look at trenches located at the outposts to the north. These areas were very familiar to New Zealand soldiers during the campaign.”

As part of the centenary commemoration an illustrated book detailing the survey’s findings is being prepared for publication in August 2015. An exhibition will open in Melbourne next April.


Updated on 23rd July 2015