Combined archaeological and UXO research at Arnhem Meinerswijk

The floodplains at Meinerswijk (Arnhem) have been deepened and the area redesigned. Meinerswijk is home to the historic John Frost Bridge, where a lot of battles took place during the Second World War (WWII). The chance of finding explosives was therefore high. In addition, the remains of a Roman castellum and medieval settlement are located in the vicinity of the research area. To prevent dangerous situations during work or the loss of historical artefacts, T&A Survey has conducted an extensive combined UXO and archaeological survey.

T&A has investigated the area with a multi-probe gradiometer connected to GPS and  with GPR. These techniques provide data about the location, depth and dimensions of the objects and structures in the subsurface. Among the findings were many grenades, four aircraft bombs and remains of trenches from WWII with personal belongings of French, English and German soldiers. In addition, filled up ditches and remnants of local clay extraction for the manufacturing of bricks have been found.

Archaeological research has also provided a great deal of additional knowledge about the combat activities during the Battle of Arnhem. The archaeological supervision of UXO research provides a quick and efficient insight into the soil structure, degree of disturbance and the chances of finding archeology in a large research area. Subsequent  research can therefore be conducted in a more targeted manner.

Thanks to the preparatory work, the excavation activities could be performed safely for both the contractor and the environment. No historical heritage has been lost thanks to the archaeological research.