An Archaeology of the Iron Curtain: Material and Metaphor by Anna McWilliams

By Anna McWilliams

The Iron Curtain used to be obvious because the divider among East and West in chilly conflict Europe. The time period refers to a fabric fact however it can be a metaphor; a metaphor that has develop into so robust that it has a tendency to mark our historic realizing of the interval. during the archaeological examine of 3 components that may be thought of a part of the previous Iron Curtain, the Czech-Austrian border, the Italian-Slovenian border and the Berlin Wall, this examine investigates the connection among the fabric and the metaphor of the Iron Curtain.

“This paintings falls inside what's often known as modern archaeology, a reasonably younger sub-discipline of archaeology. Few huge study tasks have to date been released, and strategies were defined as nonetheless just a little experimental. during the fieldwork it's been attainable to recognize and spotlight the issues and possibilities inside modern archaeology. It has turn into transparent how the fabrics stretch either via time and position demonstrating the advanced means of how the fabric that archaeologists examine could be created.”

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Sample text

The areas of nothingness where the wall once stood echo a past that many are trying to forget. Development projects are slowly erasing the traces, filling the voids and gradually eating away, piece by piece, the empty spaces. In other areas the memory of the wall is actively remembered: the tacky souvenir shops; the preserved wall sections and guard towers or as black and white photos in the small corner restaurant where I eat my lunch, previously located right on the edge of the Western world at Axel-Springer Straße.

President standing on a platform looking into the East were reported in the press throughout the Western World. Figure 1: Ronald Reagan speaking in front of the Brandenburg Gate and the Berlin Wall on 12th June 1987. Photo: White House Photographic Office. 34 2: A PHYSICAL METAPHOR The changing rhetoric around a wall The Berlin Wall was a frequent actor in rhetoric between the two blocs but how it was used changed somewhat over its existence. Maybe not too surprisingly the media in East Germany blamed the construction of the Berlin Wall on the actions of the West but during the early period after the wall had been constructed there was also debate in the Western press about whether the wall was a result of a western failure as not enough had been done to stop the construction (Bruner 1989:321).

E. the concrete wall facing West Berlin, has been removed, much of the former border infrastructure can still be seen throughout Berlin. Major work was carried out in 1990–1991 to remove the wall but today many other features that were part of the wall infrastructure are still visible. Although what was most visible from the West was the final concrete wall this was only the final part in a series of obstacles constructed to stop any attempts to escape to West Berlin. When approaching from the East there would first be warning signs informing of the restrictions of access ahead.

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