TURCO EXCAVATION SITE


Localisation of the Turco and High Command Redoubt excavation sites on a modern aerial photograph.

The first excavations took place near the Moortelweg, a road called ĎAdmiralís Roadí by the British soldiers (nowadays this is the Moortelweg). During the war, the nearby farm was named Turco, thus providing the archaeological site there with its current name. Reaching agreement with the current landowner (Mr. G. Verhaeghe) the I.A.P. excavated three long testpits to evaluate the site. They were dug over a distance of 100 meters and a width of 4 meters, transversing the planned A19-trajectory.
The allied Turco frontline system was set up after the Second Ypres (22 April / 27 May 1915), when the Germans pushed back the allies to this area with poisonous gas. No-mans land was just across Admiralís Road and the German front was a hundreds meter further back. The orientation of the trenches changed several times up to the summer of 1916. These trenches also served as one of the jumping-off points for the third battle of Ypres, which started on the 31st of July 1917. After that historic event, the area was used as rear supporting lines until the end of the war.