Bob Clarke

Department: Archaeology
Discipline: Archaeology

Project Summary

The study of conflict archaeology is still in its infancy. The British Cold War is currently an under investigated, marginalised period, in the study of conflict archaeology. Military orientated initiatives such as the Defence of Britain Project have found national prominence recently however, do not continue past 1945. This chronological ‘buffer’ damages the possibility of assimilating recent archaeology into mainstream study. Currently any discussion surrounding Cold War sites is accompanied by extremes of interpretation; obviously nuclear warfare and the structures associated with this prompt such extremes. My view is that we should be able to work through these difficulties when discussing the preservation of Cold War sites. Only a balanced view is acceptable as we promote the period through education, I am hoping to provide such a view. One such difficulty is the Cold War period itself.


Working with the public over the last two years I have exposed reasons why the British Cold War, and its landscape, is poorly represented in personal histories. Put simply a forty-year period is too broad a timeframe with which to adequately demonstrate historical and educational value. It is anticipated that ongoing research will demand a more chronologically structured discussion when considering the preservation of both material culture and extant, representative, Cold War sites. The study of Cold War monuments requires an adaptable chronology if they are to be considered relevant. This project intends to demonstrate that trends in personal histories are a clear indicator as to how preservation mechanisms should be employed on recent archaeological sites.

Supervisory Team

Professor Oliver Crieghton

Wider Research Interests

My wider research interests include the arms races of the 20th Century and how they interact with the British landscape. I have authored a number of publications on specific aspects of this including the naval build-up prior to World War One; Cold War monuments; the Berlin Airlift and the first archaeologically based publication to deal specifically with British airfields. That said living in Wiltshire I also take an active interest in the prehistory of the County, working closely with the Wiltshire Museum (Devizes) on a wide range of period sites. I currently direct a community project covering the development of Broad Town, a North Wiltshire village with prehistoric excavations.

Authored Publications/Reports

Clarke,B. (2005) Cold War Monuments in Wiltshire, Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, Vol. 98, 1-11

Clarke,B. (2005) Four Minute Warning: Britain's Cold War, Tempus Publishing, Stroud

Clarke,B. (2007) Ten Tons for Tempelhof: The Berlin Airlift, Tempus Publishing, Stroud

Clarke,B. (2009) The Archaeology of Airfields, History Press, Stroud

Clarke,B. (2010) Remember Scarborough: A Result of the First Arms Race of the Twentieth Century, Amberley Publishing, Stroud

Clarke,B. (2000) A Miniature Flat Axe Or Chisel From Broad Town, North Wiltshire, Wiltshire Archaeological And Natural History Journal, Vol 93, 238-239

Clarke,B. (2000) Peace Dividend Brings Archaeological Rewards, Antiquity, Vol 74 No.284, 277-278

Clarke,B. (2001) Recently discovered Tegula Mammata from North Wiltshire, Wiltshire Archaeological And Natural History Journal, Vol 94, 228 - 230

Clarke,B. & Kirby,C. (2003) A Newly Discovered Round Barrow and Proposed Dispersed Linear Cemetery at Boscombe Down West, Wiltshire Archaeological And Natural History Journal, Vol 96, 215 - 218

Clarke,B. (2003) Outcast?: A Dated Roadside Burial, Antiquity, Vol 77,

Clarke,B. (2004) An Early Anglo-Saxon Cross-roads Burial from Broad Town, North Wiltshire, Wiltshire Archaeological And Natural History Journal, Vol 97, 89-94

Clarke,B. (2008) Jet Provost: The Little Plane with the Big History, Amberley Publishing, Stroud

Clarke,B. (2009) The Illustrated Guide to Armageddon, Amberley Publishing, Stroud

Clarke,B. (2011) Prehistoric Wiltshire: an Illustrated Guide, Amberley Publishing, Stroud