2 Battlefields as heritage sites
Heritage sites have particular and significant roles in our personal and national identity. They operate as fundamental building blocks in the construction of a sense of self and of ‘pastness’. They are key elements that enable individuals to locate themselves within a larger group past and identity. There are any number of sites – from great house to open-air museum to ancient monument, and to any of the many other places that mark aspects of the past – but together they provide the most common means that many people have of accessing ‘the past’. Battlefields are often emotionally charged spaces that tend to be grouped by scholars in their own category of heritage site, located within ‘a subset of sites of commemorative activities’ (Gatewood and Cameron, 2004).