Iron Age Hillforts in Britain and Beyond

Hardcover | January 20, 2013

byDennis Harding

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Widely regarded as major visible field monuments of the Iron Age, hillforts are central to an understanding of later prehistoric communities in Britain and Europe from the later Bronze Age. With such a range of variants represented, no single explanation of their function or socialsignificance could satisfy all possible interpretations of their role. While they are conventionally viewed as defence settlements or regional centres controlled by a social elite, this role has been challenged in recent years, and instead hillforts are being considered primarily as expressions ofsocial identity with strong ritual and cosmological associations. Current hillfort interpretations are in danger of reflecting contemporary social sensitivities more strongly than any recognizable Iron Age priorities, and the need for critical analysis of basic archaeological evidence is paramount. Critically reviewing the evidence of hillforts in Britain, in thewider context of Ireland and continental Europe, the volume focuses on their structural features, chronology, landscape context, and their social, economic and symbolic functions, and is well illustrated throughout with site plans, reconstruction drawings, and photographs. Harding reviews thechanging perceptions of hillforts and the future prospects for hillfort research, highlighting aspects of contemporary investigation and interpretation.

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Widely regarded as major visible field monuments of the Iron Age, hillforts are central to an understanding of later prehistoric communities in Britain and Europe from the later Bronze Age. With such a range of variants represented, no single explanation of their function or socialsignificance could satisfy all possible interpretations...

Dennis Harding was Abercromby Professor of Prehistoric Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh from 1977-2007. He has directed excavations of Iron Age sites from Wessex to the Western Isles.

other books by Dennis Harding

Death and Burial in Iron Age Britain
Death and Burial in Iron Age Britain

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:408 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.98 inPublished:January 20, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199695245

ISBN - 13:9780199695249

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Table of Contents

PrefaceList of Illustrations1. Defining Issues2. History of Hillfort Studies3. Anatomy of Hillfort Enclosure4. Inside and Outside of Hillforts5. Hillforts in the Landscape6. Chronology7. Function 1: Defence8. Function 2: Social, Economic, Ritual9. Documentary Sources10. Ethnographic Models11. Conclusion: A Sense of PlaceAbbreviationsBibliographyIndex