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Archaeologists unearth grisly battlefield in largest World War I excavation ever

Archaeologists are working on the largest World War 1 excavation ever

When World War I ended, Belgium filled up the trenches with earth. Now, archaeologists are digging them up.

The largest excavation of a World War I battlefield ever is underway in Belgium, The Telegraph reports. Trying to uncover the old front lines of Ypres and Passchendaele before a new gas pipeline is laid down in the area, 30 archaeologists have uncovered fortifications, uniforms, guns, and over 4,000 bullets or bombs — some still active.

There have also been more tragic discoveries. "We found a shoe with a foot but nothing else," archaeologist Simon Verdegem told The Telegraph. "Most touching is every time we find a soldier." The researchers hope to identity the four remains they've found to date and send them back to their living relatives.

The researchers also say the excavation has turned up discoveries that are making them rethink the details of the battles. And, in another surprise, The Telegraph reports that the team also discovered "well-preserved Roman remains just 10 meters in front of the German lines." --Nico Lauricella