Impact Global Location: Palau

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1) The Peleliu battlefield archaeological survey

Summary of the impact

Staff members of the School of Geosciences are involved in research into Conflict Archaeology, especially based in the Pacific region and the WW2 Pacific island theatres. One exemplar project involves fieldwork undertaken on the island of Peleliu, in the Republic of Palau (Micronesia). The fieldwork and associated research has demonstrated that Peleliu is most likely the best preserved battlefield in the Pacific, and potentially the best preserved WW2 battlefield site anywhere.

Supported by the findings of the research, proposals are now in place to incorporate Peleliu into the U.S. Government's National Park system, uniquely as a site on foreign soil. This aims to document and preserve the sites, provide education and outreach facilities to the general public, to monitor and maintain the battlefield through sustainable eco-tourism (with vital income generation for a fragile local economy in this developing country), and to protect the site from looting. The research has played a large and crucial part in providing supporting evidence and documentation for this process.

The research has delivered impact on creativity, culture and society, and especially towards the enhancement to heritage preservation, conservation and presentation, including museum and gallery exhibitions and public education. Public and political debate has also been shaped and informed, and the findings of the research have enhanced a broad cross-cultural understanding of the issues.

Submitting Institution

University of Aberdeen

Unit of Assessment

Geography, Environmental Studies and Archaeology

Summary Impact Type


Research Subject Area(s)

Built Environment and Design: Architecture
History and Archaeology: Archaeology, Curatorial and Related Studies

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