Session: #623

Theme & Session Format

The archaeology of material culture, bodies and landscapes
Session format:
Session, made up of a combination of papers, max. 15 minutes each

Title & Content

Beyond Ramparts, Walls and Ditches: New Perspectives on the European Hillforts
The engagement with Hilllforts and fortified settlements from the Bronze and early Iron Age is a long standing topic in European archaeology. Nevertheless most studies focus on the fortification itself and their function within war and conflict. As archaeologists further engage with this topic the manifold relations between the Hillforts and their surroundings become more clear. Our approach has to take the social dimension of these sites into account, beyond their defensive function. Hillforts most likely have fulfilled a plenty of functions within the social and economic spheres they originated from. They furthermore serve as actors in networks that incorporate other fortified sites and might have been a structuring element in the political landscape of their times.
In this session we want to shed light on the many reasons that might have lead to the erection of a hillfort and the various functions and incarnations that they take on during their existence. We aim at papers that discuss hillforts and fortified settlements in terms of interactions between and within communities, whether they emphasize on a hierarchical network or a scale free approach. We are interested in the broader relations between the hillforts themselves as well as their connections to their individual hinterlands. Further we welcome papers that try to place them in models of social and economic activities and processes. The chronological focus of this session is on the Bronze and early Iron Age sites. However papers from different periods that fit or complement our subject are welcome too.
Hillforts, Fortifications, Bronze Age, Iron
Session associated with MERC:
Session associated with CIfA:
Session associated with SAfA:


Main organiser:
M.A. Lennart Linde (Germany) 1
Dr. Hélène Blitte (Germany) 1
Prof. Dr. Robert Risch (Spain) 2
Dr. Hai Ashkenazi (Israel) 3
1. Goethe University Frankfurt
2. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
3. Tel Aviv University