heritage has expanded.
There is also a rhetorical rivalry that can be seen from the perspectives chosen: everything is history, everything is memory, or everything is heritage. Each of them wants its particular discourse and concepts to cover the whole field of interest in the past. That the concept of heritage also wants to assert its place is apparently regarded as a provocation.
So what is heritage? When, how, and why does heritage arise and develop, both as a practice and as a concept? Does heritage have its own essence or is it an expression of a transient
uncertainty about the future around the turns of centuries – 1800, 1900, and now 2000. Beckman also compared the fin de siècle of the 1890s to the end of the twentieth century: the same uncertainty, the same cultural shift, the same reaction to modernisation – and the same nostalgia (Beckman 1993a ; 1993b ).
Crisis is a common denominator of the explanations of increased interest in history, memory, and – especially – heritage. We witness a “crisis discourse” which, like a black hole, attracts and swallows all other interpretations. But crisis is an unclear concept, and
; but they are, at the same time, an expression of permanence; that is, something that has survived the renewal.
Abu Simbel is one such expression of the paradoxical duality of time. As temple ruins from the Egypt of the pharaohs, Abu Simbel was first made redundant by developments and forgotten in the sand dunes when dynasties fell and religious faiths changed. Later, though, it was rediscovered and drawn into a Western discourse about the Orient. Then, when the temples of Abu Simbel stood in the way of progress, their permanence was ensured through a radical
contacts created through the transfer of antiquities and monuments to other countries (Säve-Söderbergh 1987 : 137, 217f; 1996 : 114).
An exploration of justifications and motives will quickly reveal that they are numerous, highly diverse, and dependent on the discourses or conversations of which they form part. Justifications and motives are to be found across the whole field of history, memory, and heritage – from general humanities to individual disciplines or investigations. Justifications and motives may be directed outwards at society as a whole, or inwards in a
). Contrary to the widespread belief that
science is placeless, authors working in this field have shown that, like
‘temporality and embodiment’, geography is also a conditio sine qua
non for scientific endeavour of any kind, since ‘spaces both enable and
constrain discourse’, as Livingstone (2003: 7) nicely puts it. The concept
of space in this particular case takes us to the topics of inclusion and/
or exclusion, validity, veracity, partiality, etc. Accordingly, this chapter
questions the role of geography in both the nurturing and the hindering of Kanitz’s scientific
), yet some of the violent traces of the Troubles have yet to be recovered. As I write, Britain stands on the edge of redefining its relationship with Europe in ways that may yet have profound consequences for both Northern Ireland and the Republic. It is a timely moment to reread Heaney’s work and open up that discourse again. We also need to talk more of the dead (see Chapter 6 ), of mortality, of ways of dying, of loss and remembrance (Croucher et al . 2019 ). The final conversation we need is one that re-enchants us with the bog. Prehistory gives us a story of
will be situated with the landscape politics of the day: the discourse of ‘improvement’ and contest over peat itself, heralding the slow disappearance of this valuable environment. Yet by considering its hidden wealth – its plant and animal life, its craft materials and fuel and its role in the psychogeography of later prehistoric people – it will try to see these landscapes differently. Having examined why and how people crossed into the bog, and what they took from it, the next chapter turns to what was given back.
Chapter 5 considers the range of both
volume and variation of the relevant phenomenon. The past is expressed in everything from doctoral theses to novels and role-playing games, from national archives to private photo albums, and from the Abu Simbel of antiquity (WHL 88, 1979) to the modern Sydney Opera House (WHL 166rev, 2007). The field is so large, and the questions are formulated so broadly, that the path lies open to many different and mutually contradictory replies.
In addition, there is marked multiplicity in the division into disciplines and institutions, each with their own discourse or
with material culture: a spear placed in a grave or an heirloom brooch (Williams, 2007 ). Narratives can also take place at different scales using material and spatial foundations: burial under a mound, next to a partner, child, parent, grandparent or important person. As a result cemeteries are multi-generational histories, spatial representations of how a community described itself internally and to others. And, like other histories, dominant narratives were reinterpreted as each generation created its own discourses. Consequently, each cemetery is the unique and
As archaeologists working in contemporary theoretical paradigms, we tend to look for the individual through discourses and cultural performances around personhood, material culture, gender or age (Fowler, 2004 ; Lucy, 1997 ; Martin, 2014 ; Felder, 2015 ). In part this research priority is driven by a twenty-first century perspective, which focuses on social questions through a lens of contemporary individualism. However, the individual may not always have been created within this frame. Who is the individual within a historic lineage, a large