Each summer between 2012 and 2015, a team of staff and students from Staffordshire University and its Centre of Archaeology visited Alderney to undertake archaeological projects across the island as part of the Holocaust Landscapes Project.
The third largest of the Channel Islands, Alderney lies just short of 60 miles off the south coast of England, and only eight miles from France. Alderney has a rich and diverse history of settlement. A handful of archaeological investigations on the island, many of which were undertaken in the early 1900s, revealed the existence of material culture dating from the Late Palaeolithic onwards.
In June 1940, the island’s 1500 inhabitants were evacuated. This followed a decision by the British government that the Channel Islands were too difficult and expensive to defend, and paved the way for a period of occupation by the Germans that would last until 16 May 1945.
Through an interdisciplinary methodology, which combines historical research, cartographic and photographic data, and aerial reconnaissance material with non-invasive archaeological survey, archaeology students and staff from Staffordshire University have revealed new insights into the Nazi Occupation.