Fortifications and Enclosures in European Prehistory: A Cross-Cultural Perspective

Parkinson, William; Duffy, Paul
June 2007
Journal of Archaeological Research;Jun2007, Vol. 15 Issue 2, p97
Academic Journal
This article reviews recent research into the archaeological interpretation and investigation of fortifications and enclosures during the Neolithic and Bronze Age in Europe. Recent methodological, technological, and cultural developments have expanded our understanding of the temporal, spatial, and formal variability of these features on the landscape. Interpretations of this variability also have varied with different theoretical trends in the discipline. We advocate a cross-cultural approach that focuses on the occurrence of enclosures and fortifications over the long term at the continental scale. Such a macroscalar approach complements interpretive frameworks at the regional and microregional scales. The geographic and temporal distribution of these features indicates that social institutions associated with principles of segmentation and substitutability became formalized and tethered to the landscape during the Neolithic.


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