The tunnel, named George, was shut down in 1945, when the Prisoners of War of Stalag Luft III were led off at gunpoint by their Nazi guards as the advancing Red Army closed in.
Its location at the camp, immortalised in the Hollywood blockbuster The Great Escape starring Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough and Donald Pleasance, remained a mystery until experts arrived in August and spent three weeks excavating the relics.
George was built by men bitter that they failed to escape through a tunnel named Harry on the night of 24 March, 1944, which had been dug by Allied PoWs at the prison. Harry and two other tunnels, named Tom and Dick, were dug beneath the feet of the Germans in what was intended to be the biggest breakout of the war, with more than 200 men set to escape. In the end, only 76 got out through Harry - and 50 of them were murdered by the Gestapo. Read more.
Archaeologists are beginning the most detailed ever study of a Western Front battlefield, an untouched site where 28 British tunnellers lie entombed after dying during brutal underground warfare. For WWI historians, it’s the “holy grail”.
When military historian Jeremy Banning stepped on to a patch of rough scrubland in northern France four months ago, the hairs on the back of his neck stood up.
The privately owned land in the sleepy rural village of La Boisselle had been practically untouched since fighting ceased in 1918, remaining one of the most poignant sites of the Battle of the Somme.
In his hand was a selection of grainy photographs of some of the British tunnellers killed in bloody subterranean battles there, and who lay permanently entombed directly under his feet. Read more.
MEXICO CITY - Researchers found a tunnel under the Temple of the Snake in the pre-Hispanic city of Teotihuacan, about 28 miles northeast of Mexico City.
The tunnel had apparently been sealed off about 1,800 years ago.
Researchers of Mexico’s National University made the finding with a radar device. Closer study revealed a “representation of the underworld,” in the words of archaeologist Sergio Gomez Chavez, of Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History.
Experts found “a route of symbols, whose conclusion appears to lie in the funeral chambers at the end of the tunnel.”
The structure is 15 yards beneath the ground, and it runs eastward. It is about 130 yards long.
“At the end, there are several chambers which could hold the remains of the rulers of that Mesoamerican civilization. If confirmed, it will be one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the 21st century on a global scale,” Gomez Chavez said late Thursday. Read more.
Historic sites along the route of an underwater tube tunnel line connecting İstanbul’s European and Asian sides will be protected under a new preservation scheme.
As part of the İstanbul Strait Highway Transit Project, Turkey’s ATAŞ Company has prepared a special plan to ensure the preservation of historical artifacts on the European side from the Cankurtaran shoreline to Haydarpaşa. So as not to share the same fate as the Marmaray Project, which has see a delay of three-and-a-half years, experts have produced a detailed archeological and historical analysis of the line. Read more.
Ground-penetrating radar was used to scan the tunnel route to ensure that no historical remnants remained. Geophysical surveys for archaeological mapping, especially in underpasses where excavation will be conducted and in areas containing cut-and-cover structures, were conducted in order to gain further information about likely archeological finds.
WORK on a flood protection scheme has unearthed a 20 metre-long hand-built smugglers cave.
A team from Southern Water made the unusual discovery while digging trenches to lay new sewers in Collier Road and nearby Priory Road last week.
Work was immediately stopped and experts from Archaeology South-East were called in and confirmed the find was likely to be a smugglers’ tunnel built in the early 18th Century and used to smuggle goods such as tea, tobacco, alcohol, silk and sugar - usually to avoid paying duty.
And, as well as the tunnel, diggers also uncovered a cannon ball and a piece of pottery from the Middle Iron Age. Read more.
Patience and persistence are important for any archaeological dig, but one expedition in Israel is demanding an extra measure of long-suffering endurance.
The challenge is excavating a large, rock-hewn water tunnel at Tel Gezer that is believed to have been carved out by Canaanites between 1800 and 1500 B.C.—around the time of Abraham. Tons of debris must be removed from the ancient tunnel before the real work can even begin.
“The significance for this project is to help us answer several key questions,” said Dan Warner, associate professor of Old Testament and archaeology at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. “Questions like how did the ancient Canaanites know where to sink their tunnel to gain access to the water below? How did they know the tunnel would lead to a cavern containing the water? Where does the water come from and exactly how did the system function, just to name a few.” Read more.