It is to be hoped that eventually the combination of comprehensive research and a constantly updated database will encourage public awareness and support for archaeological protection. With possible future technical developments in mind the present research in all its aspects can give a decisive direction for the approach to specific terrain or circumstances. Perhaps it will even be possible to produce a 3D-model of some part of the trenches, based on aerial photographs.
The international attention received by the IAP for the project highlights its importance to a wide community of scholars. All of them, together with many volunteers (archaeology students and others) have been crucial to the success of the project. Networking with foreign specialists, among others, has helped the IAP team gain familiarity with archival resources and artefact types.
The 10th of November 2003 the creation of a special World War One archaeology Department was formerly announced to the press and the public in Ypresí Cloth Hall, this is now the A.W.A. Its objectives are clear and can be expanded when required. Archaeological research, study, documenting inventories and management of First World War heritage, make up a first clear goal. A detailed database will provide immediate access to this unique heritage, and can be used to support or supplement a wide range of related cultural and tourist initiatives.
At the same time, the A.W.A. will seek to direct the abundant but very diverse private initiatives undertaken by museums, amateur excavators, historians, etc., by getting a clear picture of the expertise and different specialities of the different participants. In this way a forum can be created for the vast amount of dispersed knowledge that most certainly will result in greater co-operation. In addition, international projects, for example the French collaboration on the joint project on the First World War in Arras, can lead to an interesting refinement of the research agenda at Ypres itself.