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By Anna McWilliams

The Iron Curtain used to be visible because the divider among East and West in chilly battle Europe. The time period refers to a fabric fact however it is usually a metaphor; a metaphor that has turn into so robust that it has a tendency to mark our historic knowing of the interval. in the course of the archaeological research of 3 parts 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 learn investigates the connection among the cloth and the metaphor of the Iron Curtain.

“This paintings falls inside what's often often called modern archaeology, a reasonably younger sub-discipline of archaeology. Few huge study tasks have up to now 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 strategy of how the fabric that archaeologists examine could be created.”

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This study together with two visits to Berlin, both in 2009, forms the base for my discussions about the materiality of the Berlin Wall. The Berlin Wall is closely related to the idea of the Iron Curtain as they have developed together and often becomes synonymous. The Berlin Wall is not one of my study areas but it is highly important, especially for the idea of the Iron Curtain and for many people as a manifestation of the Cold War. In the introduction to their book “Wall Remnants – Wall Traces”, Klausmeier and Schmidt write that the Berlin Wall “was not an inevitable product of the Cold War” (Klausmeier and Schmidt 2004:10).

Apart from my fieldwork in the Gorizia/Nova Gorica area I also travelled along the western and northern borders of Slovenia. Starting from the town of Koper, on the Adriatic Coast, I headed north until reaching the border with Austria and following the Slovenian-Austrian border I tried to cross the border in as many places as possible until I reached the tripoint between Austria, Slovenia and Hungary. I wanted to get an idea of how the landscape changed throughout this border and what the actual border and its crossing points look like today.

At the end of a day walking along the former wall as I am resting my feet in a restaurant near Potsdamer Platz I suddenly realise that I am sitting on the wall as the Berlin Wall line is running straight under my table (Figure 9). 56 3: THE MATERIALITY OF THE BERLIN WALL Figure 9: The course of the former wall is today marked through much of central Berlin, even in this restaurant near Potsdamer Platz. Photo: Anna McWilliams. This wall changed appearances several times in what is often referred to as ‘four generations’ of the wall.

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