The plan for the A19 motorway which was investigated (left) and the alternative trajectories (right).
From Wieltje on, near Saint Jean (Sint-Jan, Ieper), the road would be extended over a distance of seven kilometres to Steenstraete in Bixschote (Bikschote, Langemark-Poelkapelle). The route crosses the northern half of the Ypres Salient. In order to complete our preliminary research we consulted a wide range of sources. The oral sources consist of testimonies of people who were directly involved, or their children, and of information from the contemporary inhabitants of the region. Besides these there are also many written sources (e.g. literature, archival documents, regimental books), aerial photographs and trenchmaps.
Here you will find a summary of the work done by the Institute in the framework of the A19-project, combining GIS-research (Geographic Information System) (inventory), historical research, and excavation. Here the combination of trenchmaps, fieldwalking and aerial photography were crucial in researching the archaeological value of the area and for planning and achieving excavations of nine different sites. The excavations started in November 2002. The combination of an intensive GIS study and fieldwork proved to be very successful. The future A19-section crosses the frontlines of the First Battle of Ypres (19 October-22 November 1914), the Second Battle of Ypres (22 April 1915 - 25/27 May 1915) and the Third Battle of Ypres (31 July 1917 - 10 November 1917). More pictures can be found in the picture gallery.