Broken Pots, Mending Lives: The Archaeology of Operation Nightingale (Signed Edition - Hardback) - Richard Osgood, Illustrated by Prof Alice Roberts
Richard Osgood, a close friend of Time Team, works as Senior Archaeologist for the Defence Infrastructure Organisation within the Ministry of Defence of the United Kingdom. He has excavated widely with research interests including the North European Bronze Age, the archaeology of conflict, and the cathartic benefits of archaeology.
Watch a clip of our recent interview with Richard Osgood and Harvey Mills discussing their new book featured in our recent 'News' piece (Full extended interview available on Patreon):
For those that survive, the traumas of military conflict can be long lasting. It might seem astonishing that archaeology, with its uncovering of the traces of the long-dead, of battlefields, of skeletal remains, could provide solace, and yet there is something magical about the subject. In archaeology there is a job for everyone; from surveying and drawing, to examining the finds, to digging itself. Often this is in some of the most beautiful and restful of landscapes and with talks around a campfire at the end of the day.
Operation Nightingale is a programme which was set up in 2011 within the Ministry of Defence of the United Kingdom to help facilitate the recovery of armed forces personnel recently engaged in armed conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, using the archaeology of the British Training Areas. Over the following decade, the project has expanded to include veterans of older conflicts and of other nations – from the United States, from Poland, from Australia and elsewhere.
This book is the story of those veterans, of their incredible discoveries, of their own journeys of recovery – sometimes one which can lead to a lifetime of studying archaeology. It has taken them to the crash sites of Spitfires and trenches of the Western Front in the First World War, through to burial grounds of Convicts, camp sites of Hessian mercenaries, and Anglo-Saxon cemeteries. Lavishly illustrated, this work shows the reader how the discovery of our shared past – of long-forgotten houses, of glinting gold jewellery, of broken pots, can be restorative and help people mend otherwise damaged lives.
The book features a foreword and illustrations by Professor Alice Roberts, alongside superb photography by Harvey Mills.
"It’s been a privilege to work with Operation Nightingale over the years and witness the positive impact that getting your hands dirty on a dig can have on mental health. Talking with veterans has really brought the power of archaeology to heal home to me."
- Sir Tony Robinson
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Watch Operation Nightingale in action when Time Team joined them in 2023 for a brand new dig to investigate the US 101st Airborne Division in Britain. Time Team were invited to Aldbourne, Wiltshire, by Operation Nightingale, on the 80th anniversary since Easy Company were stationed here in 1943, shortly before D-Day.
- Limited Edition - signed by Richard Osgood
- Publisher: Oxbow Books (2023)
- ISBN: 9781789259384
- Number of pages: 240 pages
- Dimensions: H254 x W198 mm
- Reading age: 18 years and up
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