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Detecting Modern Conflicts: Metal Detector Survey and Distribution Analysis as Tools for Understanding Slovenian Mass Execution Sites

Issue: Vol 6 No. 2 (2019)

Journal: Journal of Contemporary Archaeology

Subject Areas: Archaeology

DOI: 10.1558/jca.38828


The paper examines the applicability of a metal detector survey and distribution analysis of mostly metal objects at four post-World War II mass execution sites in Kočevski Rog, Slovenia. All locations were surveyed with the intent to gather the material evidence, reconstruct the events and identify areas of different activities. With the distribution analysis, we were able to reconstruct pathways leading through forest to the execution sites; places of untying, undressing and restricting of the victims; and places of shooting. Locations with discarded and sometimes burned clothing, equipment and personal belongings were also found, containing various metal and non-metal objects. Metal detector survey and distribution analysis of objects proved to be an excellent tool for researching, interpreting and reconstructing poorly documented events, such as World War II and post-war extrajudicial mass executions.

Author: Uroš Košir

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