Session: #628

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

The past and future of hillforts – challenges, chances, perspectives
Ancient hillforts resp. strongholds, earth works, fortifications and enclosures are registered in thousands all over Europe, in different geographical regions for diverse archaeological periods.
The history of their research goes back to the early 19th century and resulted in regional overviewing maps and registers as well as in-depth studies of single monuments. But many results remain unpublished in the archives without a clear concept to include this material into modern research by using educational systems.
On the other hand today’s archaeologists can use a whole range of new powerful investigation methods like geophysics, aerial photography and LIDAR scanning, Pollen analysis, drilling, geochemical soil analysis, microstratigraphy, C14-dating and finally Geographical Information Systems to display, combine and analyze all the different data.
Nevertheless surprisingly little is known about general trends of hillfort development and questions about their different functions, terminology, chronology, typology or their role and interpretation in the cultural landscape.
The biggest lack is a comprehensive strategy, which breaks down the many single questions to a common sustainable concept. Developing and defining general mandatory standards for investigating the fortifications and their vicinity would form a perspective for future hillfort research.
The aim of the session is to name the main problems and needs for developing a common strategy for investigation and protection of these key sites of cultural landscapes.
The session invites scholars from different countries (especially from northern middle Europe) to present and reflect the state and perspectives of the relevant hillfort research in their field of activity.
hillforts, fortifications, research strategy, sustainability
Session associated with MERC:
Session associated with CIfA:
Session associated with SAfA:


Main organiser:
Dr. Timo Ibsen (Germany) 1
Prof. Albinas Kuncevičius (Lithuania) 2
Prof. Andris Šne (Latvia) 3
Dr. Gintautas Zabiela (Lithuania) 4
1. Center for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology Schleswig, Germany
2. Archaeological Institute, University of Vilnius
3. Archaeological Institute, University of Riga
4. Archaeological Institute, University of Klaipėda