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Journal of Archaeological Research

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 97–141 | Cite as

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

Original Paper

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Fortifications Enclosures Warfare Europe Neolithic Bronze Age Copper Age 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank the editors of this journal, Gary Feinman and Douglas Price, for their continued patience, cooperation, and understanding as we brought this article together. Michael Galaty and Peter Bogucki provided detailed, multiple-page reviews, and we cannot thank them enough for the time and effort they put into helping us clarify our ideas. Three other anonymous reviewers also provided very helpful comments. Linda Nicholas made our prose readable. Daniel Sosna provided several references. Despite all their efforts, we take full blame for any errors. We also want to thank our European colleagues who have dedicated great amounts of time and effort to investigating prehistoric enclosures and fortifications. We are grateful for the opportunity to work among them.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  2. 2.Museum of AnthropologyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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