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Mashantucket museum hosting international military archaeology conference

September 24, 2018

Mashantucket — An international lineup of world-renowned archeologists is gathering this week at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center, host of the 2018 Fields of Conflict conference, which will focus on topics such as battlefield archaeology, indigenous conflict, military history, health and trauma during times of conflict and historic preservation.

Billed as the largest military archaeology conference ever held in the United States, the five-day event, which begins Wednesday, will feature speakers from 17 countries and six continents.

The conference takes place every two years in a different country. This year’s conference is the tenth. The first, in 2000, took place in Glasgow, Scotland.

Fields of Conflict will provide the public with a opportunity to interact with scholars and to learn about the latest research on battlefields dating to ancient Rome as well as on such domestic conflicts as the Boston Massacre, 17th-century Pequot battlefields and historic conflicts of the Iroquois, Pueblo, Inuit, Chickasaw and Seminole tribes.

Rodney Butler, the Mashantucket Pequot chairman, and Kevin McBride, the museum’s director of research, will deliver a welcome address at 1 p.m. Wednesday, and the conference will conclude Sunday with an excursion to the Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park in Groton.

Robert Ballard, the Titanic discoverer who ended a 15-year relationship with Mystic Aquarium in 2014, will speak from 6 to 7 p.m. Saturday on discovering the wrecks of the Lusitania, Bismarck, USS Yorktown and PT-109. He is a retired professor of oceanography at the University of Rhode Island.

The conference is supported by a grant from the U.S. National Park Service American Battlefield Protection Program, and by the General Society of Colonial Wars and the University of Connecticut. Major sponsors include Connecticut Explored, the Denison Homestead Museum, Hard Rock Café, New South Associates, and the Second World War Museum in Gdaῄsk, Poland.

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