When the First World War ended, the Westhoek region had been completely destroyed. The original residents returned after the war. Chinese labourers and German prisoners of war cleared most of the traces of desctrucion:trenches were closed up, bomb craters were filled in, and military infrastructure was dismantled. The farmers returned too and started to work in their fields again. The material evidence became part of the archaeological soil archive.

Scarcely a foot (30 cm) deep and invisible to the naked eye, the archaeological remains of the war lie dormant in the soil all over the Westhoek region. This exhibition shows for the first time the findings of over ten years of archaeological investigations and contains many impressive artefacts. It looks at day-to-day life in the trenches, the material relics of trench warfare, and the story of some of the fallen soldiers whose bodies were recovered. Thanks to a variety of scientific techniques, the traces of war can emerge into the light of day again.

Traces of War: Archaeology of the First World War (In Flanders Fields Museum)


Grote Markt 34
8900 Ypres


From Saturday, February 17, 2018
To Sunday, August 26, 2018


+32 (0)57 23 92 20

Local map

Below you will find an interactive map.

Back to top