As I see it, there are two principal reasons to study the past: for the safe, godlike pleasure derived from immersing yourself in another time, and to learn lessons that might inform us in the present. Particularly in respect of the latter, any representation of the past therefore needs to be approached with care.
A tutor of mine at Chichester University, where I was studying for a mid-life M.A. in Creative Writing, used to bang on about time: how even the past has a past and we need to feel that depth; how memory isn’t linear in our inner world; how places themselves have different qualities of time, different relationships with time. She encouraged us to think of settings where time has special meaning, such as museums, a library perhaps.