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Nicholas J. Saunders - Author

About the Author

Nicholas Saunders is the world's leading authority on the anthropology and archaeology of the First World War. His exhibition of trench art from the war was for five years a centrepiece of the 'In Flanders Fields Museum' in Ypres, Belgium. The author of more than twenty books and dozens of academic monographs, he has appeared in numerous documentaries for the BBC and National Geographic Channel.

Featured books by Nicholas J. Saunders

Other books by Nicholas J. Saunders

Modern Conflict Archaeology and the First World War

Modern Conflict Archaeology and the First World War

Author: Nicholas J. Saunders Format: Hardback Release Date: 21/01/2019

Over recent years, there has been an explosion of interest in the multidisciplinary archaeology and anthropology of modern conflict. Yet whilst students from a variety of backgrounds are increasingly inspired by an anthropological approach to this new type of archaeology whose subject matter has shaped the modern world, few books have actively addressed the subject from this perspective. As such, this volume provides both a welcome overview of the opportunities afforded scholars by the integration of anthropology and history, as well as a specific investigation into how such an approach can reinvigorate our understanding of the First World War. Gathering together twelve discipline-defining journal articles and chapters published by Nicholas Saunders since 2000, together with two entirely new chapters and a substantial introduction and conclusion, the volume demonstrates the huge potential of an anthropological approach to the archaeology of 20th and 21st century conflict through the lens of the First World War. From trench art to aerial photography, spirituality to the material culture of landscapes, the book draws upon a rich variety of topics and approaches often overlooked by traditional histories, but which can tell us much about the conduct and legacy of modern conflict.

Modern Conflict Archaeology and the First World War

Modern Conflict Archaeology and the First World War

Author: Nicholas J. Saunders Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/01/2019

Over recent years, there has been an explosion of interest in the multidisciplinary archaeology and anthropology of modern conflict. Yet whilst students from a variety of backgrounds are increasingly inspired by an anthropological approach to this new type of archaeology whose subject matter has shaped the modern world, few books have actively addressed the subject from this perspective. As such, this volume provides both a welcome overview of the opportunities afforded scholars by the integration of anthropology and history, as well as a specific investigation into how such an approach can reinvigorate our understanding of the First World War. Gathering together twelve discipline-defining journal articles and chapters published by Nicholas Saunders since 2000, together with two entirely new chapters and a substantial introduction and conclusion, the volume demonstrates the huge potential of an anthropological approach to the archaeology of 20th and 21st century conflict through the lens of the First World War. From trench art to aerial photography, spirituality to the material culture of landscapes, the book draws upon a rich variety of topics and approaches often overlooked by traditional histories, but which can tell us much about the conduct and legacy of modern conflict.

Bodies in Conflict Corporeality, Materiality, and Transformation

Bodies in Conflict Corporeality, Materiality, and Transformation

Author: Nicholas J. Saunders Format: Hardback Release Date: 24/12/2013

Twentieth-century war is a unique cultural phenomenon and the last two decades have seen significant advances in our ability to conceptualize and understand the past and the character of modern technological warfare. At the forefront of these developments has been the re-appraisal of the human body in conflict, from the ethics of digging up First World War bodies for television programmes to the contentious political issues surrounding the reburial of Spanish Civil War victims, the relationships between the war body and material culture (e.g. clothing, and prostheses), ethnicity and identity in body treatment, and the role of the `body as bomb' in Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond. Focused on material culture, Bodies in Conflict revitalizes investigations into the physical and symbolic worlds of modern conflict and that have defined us as subjects through memory, imagination, culture and technology. The chapters in this book present an interdisciplinary approach which draws upon, but does not privilege archaeology, anthropology, military and cultural history, art history, cultural geography, and museum and heritage studies. The complexity of modern conflict demands a coherent, integrated, and sensitized hybrid approach which calls on different disciplines where they overlap in a shared common terrain - that of the materiality of conflict and its aftermath in relation to the human body. Bodies in Conflict brings together the diverse interests and expertise of a host of disciplines to create a new intellectual engagement with our corporeal nature in times of conflict.

Icons of Power Feline Symbolism in the Americas

Icons of Power Feline Symbolism in the Americas

Author: Nicholas J. Saunders Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 22/06/2012

Icons of Power investigates why the image of the cat has been such a potent symbol in the art, religion and mythology of indigenous American cultures for three thousand years. The jaguar and the puma epitomize ideas of sacrifice, cannibalism, war, and status in a startling array of graphic and enduring images. Natural and supernatural felines inhabit a shape-shifting world of sorcery and spiritual power, revealing the shamanic nature of Amerindian world views. This pioneering collection offers a unique pan-American assessment of the feline icon through the diversity of cultural interpretations, but also striking parallels in its associations with hunters, warriors, kingship, fertility, and the sacred nature of political power. Evidence is drawn from the pre-Columbian Aztec and Maya of Mexico, Peruvian, and Panamanian civilizations, through recent pueblo and Iroquois cultures of North America, to current Amazonian and Andean societies. This well-illustrated volume is essential reading for all who are interested in the symbolic construction of animal icons, their variable meanings, and their place in a natural world conceived through the lens of culture. The cross-disciplinary approach embraces archaeology, anthropology, and art history.

Trench Art

Trench Art

Author: Nicholas J. Saunders Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/10/2011

Engraved shell-cases, bullet-crucifixes, letter openers and cigarette lighters made of shrapnel and cartridges, miniature aeroplanes and tanks, talismanic jewellery, embroidery, objects carved from stone, bone and wood - all of these things are trench art, the misleading name given to the dazzling array of objects made from the waste of war, in particular the Great War of 1914-1918 and the inter-war years. And they are the subject of Nicholas Saunders's pioneering study which is now republished in a revised edition in paperback. He reveals the lost world of trench art, for every piece relates to the story of the momentous experience of its maker - whether front-line soldier, prisoner of war, or civilian refugee. The objects resonate with the alternating terror and boredom of war, and those created by the prisoners symbolize their struggle for survival in the camps. Many of these items were poignant souvenirs bought by battlefield pilgrims between 1919 and 1939 and kept brightly polished on mantelpieces, often for a lifetime. Nicholas Saunders investigates their origins and how they were made, exploring their personal meaning and cultural significance. He also offers an important categorization of types which will be a useful guide for collectors.

Killing Time Archaeology and the First World War

Killing Time Archaeology and the First World War

Author: Nicholas J. Saunders Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/03/2010

The Great War of 1914-1918 now stands at the furthest edge of living memory. And yet, hardly a month passes without some dramatic and sometimes tragic discovery being made along the old killing fields of the Western Front. Graves of British soldiers buried during battle - still lying in rows seemingly arm in arm or found crouching at the entrance to a dugout; whole `underground cities' of trenches, dugouts and shelters have been preserved in the mud; field hospitals carved out of the chalk country of the Somme marked with graffiti; unexploded bombs and gas canisters - all of these are the poignant and sometimes deadly legacies of a war we can never forget. Killing Time digs beneath the surface of war to uncover the living reality left behind. Nicholas J. Saunders brings together a wealth of discoveries to offer fresh insights into the human and often barbaric aspect of warfare. He uses discoveries in the trenches, family photographs, diaries and souvenirs to give the dead a voice. You cannot fail to be fascinated and moved by what he unearths.

Alexander's Tomb

Alexander's Tomb

Author: Nicholas J. Saunders Format: eBook Release Date: 30/07/2007

Alexander the Great is a towering figure in world history, but despite our long-held fascination with him, his burial site is unknown. The search for Alexander's tomb began soon after his untimely death in 323 B.C. and continues even today. The epic pursuit of the tomb spans continents and centuries, and involves some of history's most iconic figures. This is the story not of a brief and spectacular life, but of a momentous and unexplained death, multiple burials, and the seemingly never-ending quest for a man-god's final resting place. Bringing together thousands of years of speculation, as well as new questions about the ramifications of actually solving the puzzle, Alexander's Tomb is a fascinating look at one of archaeology's greatest mysteries.

The Peoples of the Caribbean An Encyclopedia of Archaeology and Traditional Culture

The Peoples of the Caribbean An Encyclopedia of Archaeology and Traditional Culture

Author: Nicholas J. Saunders Format: Hardback Release Date: 16/12/2005

A true first, this encyclopedia is the only comprehensive guide ever published on the archaeology and traditional culture of the Caribbean. * 500 A-Z entries on all major prehistoric civilizations and archaeological sites ranging from Amazons and Black Legend to Shamanism and Vodoun * Comprehensive introductory essay providing a framework of the archaeological and cultural heritage of the Caribbean peoples * References with each entry as well as a comprehensive end-of-volume bibliography, making further research easy * Chronology of the Caribbean's diverse prehistoric, colonial, and modern peoples from c. 5,000 B.C. to the present

Ancient Americas The Great Civilisations

Ancient Americas The Great Civilisations

Author: Nicholas J. Saunders Format: Hardback Release Date: 09/12/2004

In AD 1492, Christopher Columbus stumbled across the Americas while searching for a route to the spice rich Orient. This was a unique moment in world history, akin to an encounter with alien species in our own time. What Columbus, and his successors encountered was an unsuspected continent, a New World, full of civilisations strangely different from European societies in their languages, appearances, institutions, religions, architecture and ideas of life and death. From the great empires of the Aztecs in Mexico and the Incas in Peru, to their innumerable prehistoric ancestors, and the mosaic of tribes living in highland valleys and tropical rainforests, the evidence pointed to a phenomenon of human culture which had developed in isolation from the rest of the world for at least 20,000 years. Pre-Columbian America represents a singular example of the human genius for creating civilisation. Through a stimulating account of the major civilisations in Mesoamerica and the Andes, this book aims not only to give state-of-the-art syntheses of each culture, but also to build a living picture of the fundamentally different nature of indigenous Amerindian societies.

Matters of Conflict Material Culture, Memory and the First World War

Matters of Conflict Material Culture, Memory and the First World War

Author: Nicholas J. Saunders Format: Hardback Release Date: 26/08/2004

Matters of Conflict looks at the definitive invention of the twentieth century - industrialised war - and its vast and varied material legacy. From trench art and postcards through avant-garde art, museum collections and prosthetic limbs to battlefield landscapes, the book examines the First World War and its significance through the things it left behind. The contributions come from a multidisciplinary perspective, uniting previously compartmentalized disciplines such as anthropology, archaeology, cultural history, museology and art history in their focus on material culture. This innovative, hybrid approach investigates the 'social life' of objects in order to understand them as they move through time and space and intersect the lives of all who came in contact with them. The resulting survey sets a new agenda for study of the First World War, and ultimately of all twentieth-century conflict.

Matters of Conflict Material Culture, Memory and the First World War

Matters of Conflict Material Culture, Memory and the First World War

Author: Nicholas J. Saunders Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/08/2004

Matters of Conflict looks at the definitive invention of the twentieth century - industrialised war - and its vast and varied material legacy. From trench art and postcards through avant-garde art, museum collections and prosthetic limbs to battlefield landscapes, the book examines the First World War and its significance through the things it left behind. The contributions come from a multidisciplinary perspective, uniting previously compartmentalized disciplines such as anthropology, archaeology, cultural history, museology and art history in their focus on material culture. This innovative, hybrid approach investigates the 'social life' of objects in order to understand them as they move through time and space and intersect the lives of all who came in contact with them. The resulting survey sets a new agenda for study of the First World War, and ultimately of all twentieth-century conflict.

Icons of Power Feline Symbolism in the Americas

Icons of Power Feline Symbolism in the Americas

Author: Nicholas J. Saunders Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/01/1998

Icons of Power investigates why the image of the cat has been such a potent symbol in the art, religion and mythology of indigenous American cultures for three thousand years. The jaguar and the puma epitomize ideas of sacrifice, cannibalism, war, and status in a startling array of graphic and enduring images. Natural and supernatural felines inhabit a shape-shifting world of sorcery and spiritual power, revealing the shamanic nature of Amerindian world views. This pioneering collection offers a unique pan-American assessment of the feline icon through the diversity of cultural interpretations, but also striking parallels in its associations with hunters, warriors, kingship, fertility, and the sacred nature of political power. Evidence is drawn from the pre-Columbian Aztec and Maya of Mexico, Peruvian, and Panamanian civilizations, through recent pueblo and Iroquois cultures of North America, to current Amazonian and Andean societies. This well-illustrated volume is essential reading for all who are interested in the symbolic construction of animal icons, their variable meanings, and their place in a natural world conceived through the lens of culture. The cross-disciplinary approach embraces archaeology, anthropology, and art history.

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