Anthropology, Department of


First Advisor

Peter Bleed

Date of this Version


Document Type



A thesis presented to the faculty of the Graduate College at the University of Nebraska in partial fulfillment of requirements for the degree of Master of Arts

Major: Anthropology

Under the supervision of Professor Peter Bleed

Lincoln, Nebraska, August 2013


Copyright (c) 2013, Allison M. Young


Second World War military operations resulted in the capture of thousands of prisoners of war. This led to the creation of internment facilities by both the Axis and the Allies. Archaeologists have begun to examine these facilities. The United States government established a POW program with numerous camps all over the country. This study provides the results of historical archaeological research at the Indianola prisoner of war camp in southwestern Nebraska. A goal of this research is to determine if the archaeological record reflects adherence to the Geneva Convention of 1929. The investigation included archival research and archaeological fieldwork with metal detector survey and test excavation. Findings indicate that prisoner areas were strictly policed and that camps were salvaged and reused after the war. This study also discusses the effectiveness of various methodological approaches to the study of internment and proposes a new theoretical model based on the Geneva Convention.

Adviser: Peter Bleed