Understanding Ancient Fortifications: Between Regionality and Connectivity [Hardback]

Ariane Ballmer (Editor); Manuel Fernandez-Götz (Editor); Dirk P. Mielke (Editor)

ISBN: 9781785707483 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Year of Publication: 2018 | Language: English 192p, H280 x W220 (mm) b/w

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Understanding Ancient Fortifications


In many regions of Europe and beyond fortifications belong to the most impressive of archaeological remains. Their study has a long tradition and today a multitude of aspects about architecture, function or symbolism has been explored. However, fortifications are generally examined in a temporally, regionally or culturally limited context. Going a step further, this volume aims to bring into focus concepts of fortifications, which can be socially, symbolically or functionally, but also chronologically and supra-regionally aligned. An important question is to determine which fortification elements are culture-specific, and which can be regarded as convergence or even universal phenomena. Adopting a comparative view, the central aim of the volume is to highlight the diversity and the structural similarities of ancient fortifications. The chronological framework goes from the Neolithic to the Late Iron Age, and the geographical scope from the Ural steppes to the Iberian Peninsula.

Table of Contents

1. Understanding Ancient Fortifications: Between Regionality and Connectivity – An Introduction
Ariane Ballmer, Manuel Fernandez-Götz and Dirk Paul Mielke
2. Environmental and cultural factors in the development of Chalcolithic fortifications in Bulgaria
Kamen Boyadzhiev
3. Fortifications and violence in the Mediterranean during the 3rd millennium BC
Vicente Lull, Rafael Micó, Cristina Rihuete and Roberto Risch
4. Pharaoh’s Mighty Walls – Egypt’s fortification system in the third and second millennium BC
Carola Vogel
5. Fortification systems of the Aegean Bronze Age
Walter Gauss
6. Hittite Fortifications between Function and Symbolism
Dirk P. Mielke
7. Protecting Civilisation. Cosmological and Ideological Concepts behind City Walls in Assyria
Simon Halama
8. Greek fortifications before the Persian Wars. An overview
Oliver Hülden
9. Fortifications in and around Rome, 950–300 BC
Albert J. Nijboer
10. The Iron Age Fortifications of Gabii/Latium (Italy)
Sophie Helas
11. The introduction of the ‘Pfostenschlitz’ concept in the fortification architecture of the north-west Alpine Hallstatt circle
Ariane Ballmer
12. Agency in Architectural Choice: The Heuneburg Hillfort as Monument and Metaphor
Bettina Arnold and Manuel Fernández-Götz
13. The purpose of Gallic oppida ramparts: a reappraisal
Pierre Moret
14. Defences or defenders? New interpretations on upright-stone bands in European Late Prehistory
Luis Berrocal-Rangel

Reviews & Quotes

"The wide scope is a great asset to this volume. The phenomenon of fortification is often studied on scales limited by chronological periods or certain regions. The total renunciation of these “borders” limiting most studies opens up a welcome opportunity to compare and investigate fortifications in a new light. [...] These are developments that are most welcome and have long been necessary."
Reviews Editor

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