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Integrated Archaeological Research: Archival Resources, Surveys, Geophysical Prospection and Excavation Approach at an Execution and Burial Site: The German Nazi Labour Camp in Treblinka

1
Faculty of Geodesy and Cartography, Warsaw University of Technology, 1 Sq. Politechniki, 00-661 Warsaw, Poland
2
Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, School of Exact Sciences, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw, ul. Wóycickiego 1/3, 01-938 Warsaw, Poland
3
AGH University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Geology, Geophysics and Environmental Protection, al. Mickiewicza 30, 30-059 Kraków, Poland
4
Faculty of Medicine, Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin, ul. Rybacka 1, 70-204 Szczecin, Poland
5
Institute of Biological Sciences, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw, ul. Woycickiego 1/3, 01-938 Warsaw, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2020, 10(9), 336; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10090336
Received: 30 June 2020 / Revised: 3 August 2020 / Accepted: 10 August 2020 / Published: 24 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected papers from the SAGA Workshop 1)
This article presents the results of multidisciplinary research undertaken in 2016–2019 at the German Nazi Treblinka I Forced Labour Camp. Housing 20,000 prisoners, Treblinka I was established in 1941 as a part of a network of objects such as forced labour camps, resettlement camps and prison camps that were established in the territory of occupied Poland from September 1939. This paper describes archaeological research conducted in particular on the execution site and burial site—the area where the “death pits” have been found—in the so-called Las Maliszewski (Maliszewa Forest). In this area (poorly documented) exhumation work was conducted only until 1947, so the location of these graves is only approximately known. The research was resumed at the beginning of the 21st century using, e.g., non-invasive methods and remote-sensing data. The leading aim of this article is to describe the comprehensive research strategy, with a particular stress on non-invasive geophysical surveys. The integrated archaeological research presented in this paper includes an analysis of archive materials (aerial photos, witness accounts, maps, plans, and sketches), contemporary data resources (orthophotomaps, airborne laser scanning-ALS data), field work (verification of potential objects, ground penetrating radar-GPR surveys, excavations), and the integration, analysis and interpretation of all these datasets using a GIS platform. The results of the presented study included the identification of the burial zone within the Maliszewa Forest area, including six previously unknown graves, creation of a new database, and expansion of the Historical-GIS-Treblinka. Obtained results indicate that the integration and analyses within the GIS environment of various types of remote-sensing data and geophysical measurements significantly contribute to archaeological research and increase the chances to discover previously unknown “graves” from the time when the labour camp Treblinka I functioned. View Full-Text
Keywords: non–destructive methods; geophysical prospections; GPR; German Nazi Treblinka I labour camp; palimpsest; Historical-GIS; Maliszewa forest; archaeology in forested areas; COST Action SAGA (CA17131) non–destructive methods; geophysical prospections; GPR; German Nazi Treblinka I labour camp; palimpsest; Historical-GIS; Maliszewa forest; archaeology in forested areas; COST Action SAGA (CA17131)
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MDPI and ACS Style

Różycki, S.; Zapłata, R.; Karczewski, J.; Ossowski, A.; Tomczyk, J. Integrated Archaeological Research: Archival Resources, Surveys, Geophysical Prospection and Excavation Approach at an Execution and Burial Site: The German Nazi Labour Camp in Treblinka. Geosciences 2020, 10, 336. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10090336

AMA Style

Różycki S, Zapłata R, Karczewski J, Ossowski A, Tomczyk J. Integrated Archaeological Research: Archival Resources, Surveys, Geophysical Prospection and Excavation Approach at an Execution and Burial Site: The German Nazi Labour Camp in Treblinka. Geosciences. 2020; 10(9):336. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10090336

Chicago/Turabian Style

Różycki, Sebastian; Zapłata, Rafał; Karczewski, Jerzy; Ossowski, Andrzej; Tomczyk, Jacek. 2020. "Integrated Archaeological Research: Archival Resources, Surveys, Geophysical Prospection and Excavation Approach at an Execution and Burial Site: The German Nazi Labour Camp in Treblinka" Geosciences 10, no. 9: 336. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10090336

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