My name is Colin Parkman. I am currently living in the United Kingdom to undertake my PhD in Conflict Archaeology. I have started this fundraiser for a simple reason: to gain funding for the experiments I need to complete for my PhD. I have already taken out numerous student loans to cover tuition costs and survival costs. The biggest issue is simple: I am an American attending a University in the United Kingdom, which essentially means there is no funding for what I am doing. So why move from America to the United Kingdom to study conflict archaeology? The answer is simple...conflict archaeology is not fully recognized as a discipline in the United States. There is nowhere to go in the United States to complete a PhD in conflict archaeology. You; my kind reader; will find below this rambling a more detailed account of what I am planning to do.
The aim of this research is to increase the ability in conflict archaeology to interpret impacted lead bullets from early modern period fields of conflict. This will be completed through experimental firing trials of early modern firearms into targets and landscape features appropriate to battlefield conditions for the period, creating a reference collection of known bullet impacts. Previous experiments are narrow in focus and have limited sample sizes but demonstrate a parallel between the nature of the impact surface and the characteristics transferred to the bullet. This study will therefore explore the possibility of interpretation and categorisation of impacted lead bullets through both literature reviews and field experiments with early modern period firearms.
The standard lead ball was the common ammunition issued through the 15th-17th centuries, and the vast majority of battlefield archaeology reports refer to these impacted spherical bullets with little to no attempt at interpretation. There are numerous unsubstantiated theories on impacted bullets but no definitive research exists to date which can confirm or disprove such theories. Determining the nature and the character of spherical bullet evidence will allow for a better interpretation of how the action/s unfolded with greater confidence than we can now. The lack of critical evidence and the nature of what bullet evidence involves, means we cannot do that at the moment.
Any and all money donated to this project will go directly to covering the costs of materials and the usage of a firing range in which to conduct the experiments. I have not offered anything in return to people willing to donate money, simply because I have no idea what incentive I could offer you. I would be happy to share reports and show video evidence of the experiments when they take place and would be happy to keep anyone interested with updates of progress and a free PDF of the PhD upon completion.