Concrete’s memory: Positioning ghosts of war in the Channel Islands

17 May 2018

This paper explores the constraints upon archaeologists who work in the field of heritage studies who encounter tales of haunting, or have their own experiences with ghosts, during fieldwork. The discipline lacks the terminology to describe, analyse or understand such experiences, leading to either omissions, embarrassed anecdotes at the end of ‘serious’ discussions of fieldwork, or talking in metaphors. Using the case study of the Channel Islands, this paper explores ways in which archaeologists can talk and write about ghosts through recent understandings of the concept of ‘heritage’, through a rejection of UNESCO’s definitions of Intangible Cultural Heritage, and the adoption of the concept of ‘tangible intangibility’.