Battlefields from event to heritage

John Carman, Patricia Carman

Research output: Book/ReportBook


What is – or makes a place -- a ‘historic battlefield’? From one perspective the answer is a simple one – it is a place where large numbers of people came together in an organised manner to fight one another at some point in the past. But from another it is far more difficult to identify. Quite why any such location is a place of battle -- rather than any other kind of event -- and why it is especially historic is more difficult to identify. This book sets out an answer to the question of what a historic battlefield is in the modern imagination, drawing upon examples from prehistory to the 20th century. Considering battlefields through a series of different lenses, treating battles as events in the past and battlefields as places in the present, the book exposes the complexity of the concept of historic battlefield and how it forms part of a Western understanding of the world. Taking its lead from new developments in battlefield study – especially archaeological approaches – the book establishes a link to and a means by which these new approaches can contribute to more radical thinking about war and conflict, especially to Critical Military and Critical Security studies. The book goes beyond the study of battles as separate and unique events to consider what they mean to us and why we need them to have particular characteristics. It will be of interest to archaeologists, historians and students of modern war in all its forms.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages288
ISBN (Print)9780198857464
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2020


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