Buildings and landscapes are traditionally analysed with their construction and use in mind, with less interest shown in their destruction or ‘end’. This innovative book, canvassing the opinions of historians, archaeologists, and other professionals, highlights the complexity of destruction both as a concept and a phenomenon. Drawing from a variety of time periods and cultures, it explores the multiplicity of meanings that destruction can have, and the many complications this creates. Included in this are the politics behind how destruction is remembered (or forgotten), the logistical and ethical dilemmas it presents us with, and the power tensions and transitions that often accompany it. One of the most fundamental themes explored in this book is what destruction is: who defines it and how we choose to recognise it, and why these questions need to be debated. It clearly demonstrates the importance of understanding the complexity of destructive acts, and argues that the best way to achieve this is by establishing channels of dialogue between archaeologists and other disciplines.
Dr. Lila Rakoczy studied at King’s College London and the University of York. She specialises in the history and archaeology of the English Civil War, and in the study of castle destruction.