Simon Verdegem – Hill 80
Simon Verdegem
Head Archaeologist
BIOGRAPHY

Contact Simon: simon@rubenwillaert.be
Phone: +32 471 23 51 25

Simon is an expert battlefield archaeologist with extensive experience in First World War archaeology in Flanders. He works for Ruben Willaert bvba, the archaeological company that fully supports the project. It was Simon who discovered the site during the test trenching campaign with his team. He will lead the excavations.

Fields of Expertise: Battlefield Archaeology, First World War

Simon has always had a genuine interest in history in general, but visiting the Ypres Salient in High School had a big impact on him. The First World War became his biggest interest and he wanted to research this subject in his professional life. He first finished his Masters in History followed by a Masters in Archaeology (thesis: Caesar’s Nose excavation) at Ghent University. Starting work as an archaeologist in 2008, he gained experience while excavating all over Flanders, researching all periods (Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman Period, Middle Ages). The first big World War 1 dig he directed was at Messines where his team found amazing and well preserved relics. The excavation, of which a documentary was made for Channel4, launched his career as a battlefield archaeologist and in the following years he excavated and directed digs of varying sizes at First World War sites in the Ypres Salient and the Yser Front. Biggest were the pipeline excavations (2014-2016) where the team researched 24km which resulted in 87 excavations which were conducted by a team of more than 30 archaeologists. Simon is also one of the organisers of an annual conference on Conflict Archaeology and is working on an exhibition on FWW archaeology in the IFFM (feb-jun 2018). In his spare time he also excavates World War 2 crash sites in cooperation with BAHAAT and Plane Hunters Recovery Team.