The Journal of Field Archaeology published a new article by Suzie Thomas, Oula Seitsonen and Vesa-Pekka Herva.
‘Nazi memorabilia, dark heritage and treasure hunting as “alternative” tourism: understanding the fascination with the material remains of World War II in Northern Finland’ is currently available online, and will appear in print later in the year. Following this link leads to 50 free downloads (first come, first served!)
The article’s abstract is as follows:
Sites connected to the Second World War (WWII) are increasingly recognized as worthy of archaeological investigation. Researchers are also becoming aware that that the collectors market in objects connected to WWII, particularly those connected to Germany, is encouraging the stripping of conflict landscapes in the search for “collectors items.” Finnish Lapland is sometimes regarded as peripheral compared to more centrally located regions of Europe. Archaeologists working here nonetheless find themselves in direct competition with enthusiastic treasure hunters. This is complicated even further by the myriad ontologies employed by different individuals in the construction of their relationship with the material culture connected to recent conflict periods, and on specific “other” or “exotic” landscapes, such as Lapland. This paper examines what might be learnt about the nature of treasure hunting for and trading in WWII material from Lapland, and its position within the emerging research on broader trends in “dark” approaches to and encounters with heritage.
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