Please Sign In | Register
Google pluspinterestShare on Stumble UponShare on RedditFacebookShare on Tumblr
TITLE
Why is it important to study the past? - Tony Pollard
EXTERNAL ID
AB_SGI_01_TONY_POLLARD_Q_08
PLACENAME
Inverness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona
DATE OF RECORDING
2009
PERIOD
2000s
CREATOR
Tony Pollard
SOURCE
Am Baile
ASSET ID
41010
KEYWORDS
conferences
emigration
lecturers
audio
audios
studypast

Get Adobe Flash player

As part of Homecoming Scotland 2009, a three-day international conference - Scotland's Global Impact - was held at Eden Court theatre, Inverness from 22-24 October. Prominent academics, historians and other experts came together to provoke healthy discussion on the history of migration and the influence of Scots abroad.

Am Baile interviewed several of the speakers during the conference. In this audio extract, Dr Tony Pollard answers the question:

'Why do you think it's important to study the past?'

'Well, as I said today, I think, I think we need to- The past is, you know, it's been said it's a foreign country but it's a very difficult place, and especially the sort of past that I look at; it's not the touchy-feely, very nice, flowers in your hair past, it's, it's people killing one another and dying in the most violent fashion. And I think it's very important that we do - it sounds a cliché - but we learn by our mistakes, or at least we should do, and it's very important that we don't forget those mistakes, and for various reasons, certain agencies, or whatever, might wish that we would. But, no, I think an historian's job is - I had a conversation with Dan Snow, the historian, recently, in Inverness actually, after too many drinks, and I described historians as important as physicists because what we do is we explain the human condition, through the work we do. Not necessarily in a scientific fashion, but we have a central role in doing that; just as a physicist describes the universe, how it works on a molecular level, I think we're physicists of the soul, really, and explore what makes people tick. So, he- I said the next morning, I said, 'I think we had one too many last night' and he said, 'No, I loved what you were saying', so I'll stick with it.'


BIOGRAPHY

Dr Tony Pollard is a leading battlefield archaeologist and Director of the Centre for Battlefield Archaeology at the University of Glasgow. He is a senior lecturer and convener of the MLitt course in Battlefield and Conflict Archaeology. He was co-presenter of the BBC television series 'Two Men in a Trench', which brought battlefield archaeology to a worldwide audience. He has carried out battlefield projects in the UK, Africa and South America and has directed several seasons of fieldwork at Culloden, the results of which did much to inform the recently opened Visitor Centre and revised battlefield interpretation. Tony has also carried out projects on the Jacobite battlefields at Killiecrankie and Prestonpans and the siege site at Fort William.

Tony is co-editor of the Journal of Conflict Archaeology and has written widely on archaeology and history for both academic and popular audiences. His most recent publications include the forthcoming 'Culloden: The History and Archaeology of the Last Clan Battle' (Pen and Sword) and his first novel, 'The Minutes of the Lazarus Club' (Penguin 2008).

For guidance on the use of images and other content, please see the Terms and Conditions page.
High Life Highland is a company limited by guarantee registered in Scotland No. SC407011 and is a registered Scottish charity No. SC042593
Powered by Capture

Why is it important to study the past? - Tony Pollard

INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona

2000s

conferences; emigration; lecturers; audio; audios; studypast;

Am Baile

Scotland's Global Impact

As part of Homecoming Scotland 2009, a three-day international conference - Scotland's Global Impact - was held at Eden Court theatre, Inverness from 22-24 October. Prominent academics, historians and other experts came together to provoke healthy discussion on the history of migration and the influence of Scots abroad. <br /> <br /> Am Baile interviewed several of the speakers during the conference. In this audio extract, Dr Tony Pollard answers the question:<br /> <br /> 'Why do you think it's important to study the past?' <br /> <br /> 'Well, as I said today, I think, I think we need to- The past is, you know, it's been said it's a foreign country but it's a very difficult place, and especially the sort of past that I look at; it's not the touchy-feely, very nice, flowers in your hair past, it's, it's people killing one another and dying in the most violent fashion. And I think it's very important that we do - it sounds a cliché - but we learn by our mistakes, or at least we should do, and it's very important that we don't forget those mistakes, and for various reasons, certain agencies, or whatever, might wish that we would. But, no, I think an historian's job is - I had a conversation with Dan Snow, the historian, recently, in Inverness actually, after too many drinks, and I described historians as important as physicists because what we do is we explain the human condition, through the work we do. Not necessarily in a scientific fashion, but we have a central role in doing that; just as a physicist describes the universe, how it works on a molecular level, I think we're physicists of the soul, really, and explore what makes people tick. So, he- I said the next morning, I said, 'I think we had one too many last night' and he said, 'No, I loved what you were saying', so I'll stick with it.'<br /> <br /> <br /> BIOGRAPHY<br /> <br /> Dr Tony Pollard is a leading battlefield archaeologist and Director of the Centre for Battlefield Archaeology at the University of Glasgow. He is a senior lecturer and convener of the MLitt course in Battlefield and Conflict Archaeology. He was co-presenter of the BBC television series 'Two Men in a Trench', which brought battlefield archaeology to a worldwide audience. He has carried out battlefield projects in the UK, Africa and South America and has directed several seasons of fieldwork at Culloden, the results of which did much to inform the recently opened Visitor Centre and revised battlefield interpretation. Tony has also carried out projects on the Jacobite battlefields at Killiecrankie and Prestonpans and the siege site at Fort William. <br /> <br /> Tony is co-editor of the Journal of Conflict Archaeology and has written widely on archaeology and history for both academic and popular audiences. His most recent publications include the forthcoming 'Culloden: The History and Archaeology of the Last Clan Battle' (Pen and Sword) and his first novel, 'The Minutes of the Lazarus Club' (Penguin 2008).