Day Ten

Saying Goodbye | Dig Diary

On Day Ten, we're backfilling, packing up, and saying our goodbyes as an incredible two weeks of excavation comes to an end!

Photos by Chris van Houts.

15th July 2022
Hattie Ford

Backfilling Begins

As this years excavation drew to a close, we began the process of backfilling our trenches, to ensure we leave the land exactly as we found it for the farmers and landowners who have kindly let us explore their land over the last two weeks.

The team got stuck into the job with such enthusiasm that Archaeological Director Dr Stuart Eve called it "the best backfilling I've ever seen!"


Saying Goodbye

The last few days of a Waterloo Uncovered excavation are always emotional - friendships are formed quickly over the two weeks, and it can be difficult to say goodbye and return to life away from Waterloo.

This year our final day was particularly emotional, as a small memorial was held for the skeleton discovered at Mont-Saint-Jean. A few words of contemplation and commemoration were said to pay our respects to this unknown individual who died over 200 years ago.

Wrapping Up

We've reached the end of our 2022 excavation - but it's not really over. We'll stay in touch with our veteran participants, who will continue to receive support for the full length of our 12-month programme. In addition, they'll be given the opportunity to take part in a follow-on programme which will offer even more support and opportunities.

As for the archaeology; it's only just beginning. We'll be bringing the almost 900 finds we discovered this year to our Finds Store in the UK, where they will be temporarily stored while they are identified, catalogued and sent to a specialist for conservation and evaluation if necessary.

Our Belgian Archaeological partners, AWaP, will continue carefully excavating the human remains we discovered this year at Mont-Saint-Jean alongside expert forensic anthropologists. The bones will remain in Belgium, and what happens to them after they are excavated is the responsibility of the local authority - however, we know they will be treated with the utmost respect and dignity by our partners at all times.

This may be the last Dig Diary of our 2022 excavation, but there's still plenty you haven't seen from this years dig that we're excited to share with you! Stay tuned for more content...


We hope you've enjoyed our content this year, and learnt more about archaeology, the Battle of Waterloo, and veteran support. Most of all, we hope you've seen the value of our work, and how it directly affects and supports veterans and serving personnel as they recover from the traumas of war and its mental and physical impacts.

We wouldn't be able to conduct our groundbreaking archaeological excavation at Waterloo, or deliver our life-changing veteran support, without the generosity of our supporters. To help us continue our work and support those who have served their country when they need it the most, please consider making a donation.

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