School of History, Classics & Archaeology

Munro Lecture: Shot and shell tell the tale

Lecture Abstract

Warfare is as old as humankind. Studies of conflict are almost as old as warfare itself, but systematic archaeological investigations of fields of conflict is a relatively new field, only a bit over thirty years old. There are numerous world-wide studies that are changing the face of how conflict and war are seen and studied using archaeological methods.  Site specific studies, and detailed artifact analyses are the epitome of battlefield archaeology and archaeologists are now beginning to see broad patterns in data that bring a greater insight and understanding specific past events and conflict in general.  Dr. Scott will present several examples to illustrate how physical evidence found at historic battlefield can build a more complete understanding of past events, as well as showing how the techniques of conflict archaeology are used to support forensic and international human rights investigations.

You can view a recording of the lecture below.


Dr. Scott retired in 2006 from the National Park Service after more than 30 years of with the U. S. Department of the Interior. His last position was Great Plains Team Leader, Park Programs, Midwest Archeological Center Lincoln, Nebraska. He is currently a Visiting Research Scientist at Colorado Mesa University. Doug received his Ph.D. in 1977 in Anthropology from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has worked throughout the Great Plains and Rocky Mountain West on a variety of archeological projects.  Doug specializes in nineteenth century military sites archeology and forensic archeology. He is particularly noted for his expertise in battlefield archeology and firearms identification having worked on more than 40 battlefield sites, including Palo Alto, Sand Creek, Big Hole, Bear Paw, Wilson’s Creek, Pea Ridge, Centralia, and Santiago de Cuba.  He was awarded the Department of the Interior's Distinguished Service Award in 2002 for his innovative research in battlefield archeology that started with his work at the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. His 2013 book Uncovering History, on the archaeology of the Little Bighorn battle, has received several book of the year awards.  Doug has also been involved with human rights and forensic investigations since the early 1990s. He has worked with the United Nations and various human rights organizations in El Salvador, Croatia, Rwanda, Cyprus, Iraq, and on an animal welfare case in Canada.


Nov 23 2017 -

Munro Lecture: Shot and shell tell the tale

The Munro Lecture 'Shot and shell tell the tale: Battlefield and conflict archaeology as aids to understand the past and assist in modern forensic investigations' will be delivered on 23 November by Professor Douglas Scott. The event is free to attend and non-ticketed. (Published 26 October, 2017)

Meadows Lecture Theatre, Doorway 4, Old Medical School, Teviot Place, Edinburgh EH8 9AG