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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.
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Fortifications and Enclosures in European Prehistory:
A Cross-Cultural Perspective
William A. Parkinson Æ Paul R. Duffy
Published online: 12 May 2007
Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007
Abstract This article reviews recent research into the archaeological interpreta-
tion and investigation of fortifications and enclosures during the Neolithic and
Bronze Age in Europe. Recent methodological, technological, and cultural devel-
opments 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 comple-
ments interpretive frameworks at the regional and microregional scales. The geo-
graphic 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
During the sixth millennium B.C., some of the farming and herding popula-
tions in Europe began constructing various combinations of ditches, walls,
earthworks, and stone enclosures. Some were built directly around settle-
ments—for defense, as animal pens, or to define the settlement perimeter.
Others were constructed in locations not directly associated with settlements,
W. A. Parkinson (&)
Department of Anthropology, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-7772, USA
P. R. Duffy
Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
J Archaeol Res (2007) 15:97–141
DOI 10.1007/s10814-007-9010-2
but where places on the landscape had significance for rituals, burials, or
facilitating exchange.
These features—Europe’s earliest ‘‘monumental’’ constructions—have held our
imaginations since at least the Middle Ages, when Merlin was thought to have
constructed Stonehenge (see Trigger 1989, p. 32, Fig. 3). As our understanding of
the European past has changed, so have our views and interpretations of these
prehistoric features. Early antiquarians such as John Aubrey (1626–1697) attributed
the construction of sites such as Stonehenge and Avebury to druids (Stukeley 1743;
see also Hunter 1829; Trigger 1989, p. 48). And before the development of
radiocarbon dating, some attributed the construction of Britain’s megalithic henges
to the Mycenaeans of the Aegean where architects also used big stones, called
‘‘Cyclopean masonry,’’ in the construction of palaces and other structures (Childe
1925; Clarke 1968; see also Chippindale 1983; Renfrew 1973). Similarly, fortified
prehistoric sites in Spain were attributed to the Phoenicians (Monks 2000, p. 38).
Largely as a result of radiocarbon dating techniques, the greater antiquity and
indigenous nature of such features is now better understood.
More recent approaches have used the presence of monumental features to argue
for the existence of hierarchical ‘‘chiefs’’ in the Neolithic (e.g., Renfrew 1974).
Other synthetic treatments argue that these features indicate symbolic changes in
how humans perceived their relationship to their surroundings (Whittle 1996). Still
others view these and other Neolithic monuments as ‘‘fundamental to the
persistence and direction of social memory’’ (Edmonds 1999, p. 134; see also
Bradley 1998).
The wide geographic, temporal, and formal variability of these features has
stymied archaeological understandings of their functions. Although the tradi-
tion of building enclosures and fortifications lasted for several thousand
years, such construction practices were neither ubiquitous across the
European continent nor consistent through time. As a result, it is difficult to
identify one specific reason for their existence. Just as the frequency and
location of their construction varied, the social roles the features played
changed along with the needs and wants of the people who interacted with
From the perspective of the longue dure
e, enclosures and fortifications began to
appear during the Neolithic (c. 6500–3000 B.C.; see Figs. 1, 2). The variability in
their spatial distribution and form, however, decreased considerably by the end of
the Bronze Age (c. 1000 B.C.). As such, the tradition of constructing enclosures and
fortifications is a geographically and temporally defined social phenomenon that is
important for our understanding of Neolithic and Bronze Age social organization,
and for the establishment of the various long-term social trajectories European
societies assumed en route to becoming the ‘‘barbarians’’ we know from Greek and
Roman literature.
Many recent treatments of this topic have focused on detailed examinations
of specific sites (e.g., Gillings and Pollard 2004) or microregions (e.g., Whittle
1997; Whittle et al. 1999). Others have been regional syntheses (e.g., Darvill
98 J Archaeol Res (2007) 15:97–141
Fig. 1 Simplified European prehistoric chronology by region. Adapted from Bogucki and Crabtree
(2003, pp. xxvi–xxvii), Boyadziev (1995), O’Shea (1996, p. 36), Parkinson (1999, Fig. 4.4, p. 150), and
Whittle (1996, p. 42, 148)
Fig. 2 Distribution of enclosed and fortified Neolithic and Bronze Age sites in Europe. Approximate site
positions redrawn from Andersen (1997, pp. 134–135), with additions from Darvill and Thomas (2001b,
p. 8). Geographic base layers provided by ESRI (2002), projected as Europe Albers Equal Area Conic.
For a distribution by period, see Andersen (1997, pp. 278–279)
J Archaeol Res (2007) 15:97–141 99
and Thomas 2001a; Varndell and Topping 2002) that examine this formal, spatial,
and temporal variability at larger geographic scales.
From our perspective, one of the most interesting aspects of enclosures and
fortifications is the patterning they exhibit on a macroregional, continental
scale over several millennia. We argue that the study of European enclosures
can benefit from comparison to similar structures in other parts of the world.
Comparing the variability exhibited by prehistoric European enclosures to
contexts where similar ‘‘monumental’’ features have been constructed allows
us to explore the emergence of different social institutions associated with
territorialism, corporate group integration and interaction, and social
boundary maintenance. By employing a cross-cultural framework to examine
the spatial layout and cultural occupations associated with fortifications and
enclosures, it is possible to develop models that represent different regional
processes within Europe. Cross-cultural models that approach patterns at
the continental scale cannot replace site-based and microregional levels of
analysis, but a grander perspective can be used to complement these local
We begin with a brief history of research into Neolithic and Bronze Age
enclosures and fortifications and discuss how recent technological, methodolog-
ical, and social developments have altered our perception of the formal, spatial,
and temporal variability exhibited by the features on the landscape, and how this
has altered models of European prehistory during the Neolithic and the Bronze
Age. We then identify how the interpretation of these features within their social
contexts relates to general theoretical trends within European prehistory.
In particular, we discuss how changing perceptions of warfare and symbolism
in the past have influenced the interpretation of ditches and other features
around sites.
In the final section, we compare Neolithic and Bronze Age fortifications and
enclosures from Europe to analogous prehistoric features from Mesoamerica, the
Near East, and eastern North America. We argue that in different parts of the world
the appearance of fortifications, enclosures, and other monumental and communally
constructed features was associated with the formalized representation of segmen-
tary social units on the landscape. The emergence of these social institutions
occurred in a variety of different economic, environmental, and historical settings,
but all seem to have been associated with the development of what anthropologist
Ray Kelly (2000) has called a social calculus based on a notion of social
The concept of social substitutability goes hand in hand with the concept of
social segmentation, wherein societies are divided into equivalent social segments,
such as descent groups, that can be grouped together into progressively more
inclusive units (Kelly 2000). Social substitution involves a cultural logic that
permits the cultural substitution and equation of an individual with a specific group
with which that person is a member.
We argue that the emergence of a social calculus based on a concept of social
substitutability would have encouraged the creation of features on the landscape
such as fortifications and enclosures. From this perspective, features such as
100 J Archaeol Res (2007) 15:97–141
fortifications built for defense from another group are similar to features built to
bring groups together for rituals, such as enclosures and henges; the two are simply
different forms of intergroup interaction, one peaceful, the other more violent. By
analyzing the variability exhibited in the creation of such features in different
regional trajectories and understanding the social contexts in which such features
have emerged, it is possible to identify patterns of social interaction that occurred
during their construction and to differentiate the role such sites would have played
within those different regions.
Terminology, chronology, and geography
We focus our discussion on the construction of fortifications and enclosures on
the European continent throughout the Neolithic and the Bronze Age, from c.
6500 to 1000 B.C. These 5,500 years include a dizzying number of geographic
regions and hundreds of archaeological cultures, phases, and periods. Many of
the absolute dates for periods vary considerably across this vast geography, and
some periods exist in some regions but not in others. For example, southeastern
Europe has a formal Copper Age (also called Final Neolithic, Eneolithic, and
Chalcolithic) that separates the Neolithic from the Bronze Age, but northwest-
ern Europe does not. A very simplified regional chronology for nonspecialists
is included in Fig. 1, which also contains absolute dates for the periods
and archaeological ‘‘cultures’’ (i.e., Linearbandkeramik [LBK]) discussed in
the text.
The past century of research into Neolithic and Bronze Age enclosures and
fortifications has produced dozens of terms, many of which are used inter-
changeably, to refer to formal types and their associated characteristics. Table 1
lists several of the terms most commonly used for different types of enclosures
and fortifications in different parts of Europe. This list is not intended to be a
concise glossary but rather is presented to convey a sense of how terms have been
applied, albeit inconsistently and haphazardly, to refer to different types of features
and sites.
The spatial distribution of sites with fortifications and enclosures across Europe is
shown in Fig. 2, and examples of their formal variability are presented in Figs. 36.
These illustrations are not intended to represent the full spectrum of variability but
to provide a variety of examples from different parts of Europe that are discussed in
the text.
Formal, spatial, and temporal variability
Archaeologists have recognized prehistoric enclosures, fortifications, and
henges as the earliest examples of monumental construction in Europe since
at least the late 19th century (Siret 1893; see also Whittle 1988, p. 1; Fig. 1).
Some enclosures of earth and stone on the European landscape are known to
have been used for ritual activities by indigenous groups during the Roman
J Archaeol Res (2007) 15:97–141 101
period. But the antiquity of the features—which date to the Neolithic,
Chalcolithic, and Bronze Age—began to be clarified only at the end of the
19th century, when systematic investigations were performed at sites such as
Los Millares in Spain (Siret and Siret 1887). Not until the development of
Table 1 Terminology employed in the descriptions of enclosures and fortifications in Europe
Term Language Region of
Basic definition
Causewayed camp English UK Site with surrounding banks and/or ditches, with
entrances, usually no settlement
Causewayed enclosure English UK Site with surrounding banks and/or ditches, with
entrances, usually no settlement
Crab’s claw English Italy, France Site surrounded by ditches with ‘‘crab-claw’’-like
Ditched enclosure English UK Site surrounded by ditches, usually with entrances
Earthwork English Generic Any feature, such as a bank, which involves the
moment of earth
Einhegung German Central
Literally ‘‘enclosure,’’ a general term used for
sites with encircling features
Enciente English,
Ditch or fortification surrounding a site
Enclosure English Generic General term for any feature surrounding a site
Erdwerke German Central
Any feature, such as a bank, which involves the
moment of earth
Fortification English Generic Interpretive term implying a defensive purpose
for an enclosure, usually involving a palisade
Grabenwerke German Central
Ditch surrounding a site
Henge English UK Upright stones or wood with spaces surrounding
an area, usually with no settlement
Hillfort English Generic Elevated settlement surrounded by ditches
Interrupted ditches English Northwestern
Discontinuous ditches with many ‘‘entrances’’
Kreisgrabenanlagen (or
German Central
Circular ditches, fortifications, and sometimes
Kreispalisadenanlagen German Central
A fence of closely arranged wooden posts
surrounding a site
Neolithic camps English Northwestern
Site with surrounding banks and/or ditches, with
entrances, usually no settlement
Palisade English Generic A fence of closely arranged wooden posts
surrounding a site
Rondel, Rondell, or
Site surrounded by multiple concentric ditches,
usually no settlement
System ditches English Northern
Discontinuous ditches with many ‘‘entrances’’
102 J Archaeol Res (2007) 15:97–141
radiocarbon dating and its widespread application in Neolithic and Bronze
Age contexts across Europe, however, did the temporal and spatial variability
of these features become fully appreciated (Renfrew 1973).
Recent research on prehistoric enclosures and fortifications has tended
toward synthetic attempts to make sense of the spatial, temporal, and formal
variability that has emerged from the detailed examination of specific sites
and local regions. Most recent syntheses have been regional in scope and have
concentrated on detailed historical trajectories rather than considering vari-
ability at the continental scale. These detailed analyses were prompted by
trends in the discipline toward regional analyses (see Galaty 2005) and by the
development and widespread application of aerial photography, radiocarbon
dating, and satellite and site-based remote-sensing technologies. Another
contributing factor has been the expansion of laws and, more importantly, money
for managing and preserving cultural heritage within Europe.
Fig. 3 Fortifications and enclosures
from northwestern Europe. (A)
Avebury, Wessex, England, third
millennium B.C. Gray area shows
excavated ditch, surrounded by
embankment. Small dots within
enclosure show location of stones.
After Gillings and Pollard (2004,p.
8), with modifications. (B) Champ-
Durand, western France, c. 3500
B.C. Gray areas show multiple
discontinuous ditches surrounding
an ‘‘empty’’ area. Several
secondary burials derived from the
ditches, which may have been
foundation trenches for stone walls.
After Burnez (1993, p. 74), with
modifications. (C) Darion, Geer
Valley, eastern Belgium, LBK, c.
5500–5000 B.C. Walled ramparts
and palisades surrounding
longhouses. After Cahen et al.
(1990) with modifications
J Archaeol Res (2007) 15:97–141 103
Synthetic approaches
In the introductory article to an edited volume entitled Enclosures and
Defences in the Neolithic of Western Europe (Burgess et al. 1988), Whittle
argued that the study of enclosures had finally joined the study of megalithic
tombs as a distinctive research problem within European Neolithic and
Copper Age archaeology (Whittle 1988, p. 1). That publication, which was
based on an international conference held in Britain in the early 1980s and
built on Whittle’s (1977) earlier review of early Neolithic enclosures in
northwestern Europe, was part of a trend toward characterizing the variability
exhibited by prehistoric enclosures and fortifications. Other examples include
Petrasch’s (1990) Mitteleneolithische Kreisgrabenanlagen in Mitteleuropa,
Kaufmann’s (1990) edited volume Jahresschrift fu
r Mitteldeutsche Vor-
geschichte, No. 73, and Harding and Lee’s (1987) Henge Monuments and
Fig. 4 Circular ditched enclosures
in central Europe. (A) Osterhofen-
Schmiedorf, Lower Bavaria,
Germany, Lengyel. (B)Te
Kyjovice, Moravia, Czech
Republic, Lengyel (Moravian
Painted Ware), 2nd half of 5th
millennium B.C. (C) Buc
Slovakia, Lengyel. These
enclosures are frequently
incorporated into larger settlements.
After Milisauskas and Kruk (2002,
p. 233) and Petrasch (1990)
104 J Archaeol Res (2007) 15:97–141
Related Sites of Great Britain. Synthetic treatments aimed at understanding the
variability exhibited by prehistoric enclosures and fortifications continued
throughout the 1990s with Whittle’s Europe in the Neolithic (1996) and
Andersen’s (1997) comparative analysis. As evident by the titles, these volumes
vary tremendously in the extent to which they are synthetic and in their
geographic scope, but all are attempts at moving beyond descriptions of single
sites or microregions.
In their recent introduction to Neolithic Enclosures in Atlantic Northwest Europe,
Darvill and Thomas (2001a) note that enclosures are far more geographically
widespread and variable than previously thought, extending the boundaries well into
the Atlantic fringe, back in time, and with varying degrees of site enclosure. They
attribute this new perspective to two major trends that occurred since the early
1980s: (1) regional projects and site revisits aiming to discover more enclosures in
the known, ‘‘core’’ areas (see Whittle 1977), and (2) more research at sites outside
the ‘‘core,’’ which extended the distribution of enclosures into areas where they
were previously unknown, or quite rare, such as along the Atlantic fringe of
continental Europe and across many islands beyond.
At present, it appears that the tradition of building prehistoric enclosures
and fortifications extended across the entire European continent (Fig. 2),
becoming more common in the northwest after the earliest examples in the
lower Danube (5500 B.C.), and emerging in the British Isles by about 3800
B.C. (Darvill and Thomas 2001b, p. 9). The types of features vary dramatically and
include sites with different numbers of ditches, walls, and stones of different sizes.
The relationship of those features to each other and to settlements also varies
widely. Several recent syntheses discuss in greater detail the variation of these
Fig. 5 Early Copper Age fortified settlements, southeastern Hungary. Magnetometric map of the
r settlements of Ko
ny-Bikeri (A) and Ve
o-Bikeri (B), 4500–4000 B.C. The
settlements are either contemporary or sequential and are surrounded by a wide outer ditch and an inner
palisade wall. After Parkinson et al. (2004) with modifications
J Archaeol Res (2007) 15:97–141 105
features on the prehistoric landscape, especially Darvill and Thomas (2001a),
Varndell and Topping (2002), Andersen (1997), and Whittle (1996). When these are
paired with the earlier synthetic volumes, such as Burgess et al. (1988) and Whittle
(1977), they provide a vast database that can be used to track how these similarities
and differences in site enclosure have come to be recognized and understood over
time (see also Bibliography of recent literature).
Site-based and regional approaches
These syntheses have been necessary to help make sense of the explosion of
information generated from half a century of detailed analyses of specific sites and
Fig. 6 Later Neolithic tell sites
in Bulgaria and Greece. (A)
Polyanitsa, northeast Bulgaria,
Late Neolithic and Eneolithic,
5th millennium B.C. After
Andersen (1997, p. 147) and
Todorova (1982, 1986), with
modifications. (B) Dimini,
Thessaly, northern Greece, Late
Neolithic, 5th millennium B.C.,
after Hawkes (1974, p. 116),
with modifications
106 J Archaeol Res (2007) 15:97–141
regions. Several factors have contributed to our detailed understanding of specific
sites and regions. Probably most important in this regard is the general trend in
European prehistory toward the ‘‘region’’ as the primary unit of analysis. Galaty
(2005) suggests European regional studies are fast becoming a standard analytical
framework in European archaeology. He traces this trend toward regional analyses
to the 1950s and 1960s when topographic survey projects first were conducted in
Europe. These were followed by a new wave of European survey projects published
in the 1980s and 1990s, which shifted focus from the global archaeological trend
toward ‘‘landscape studies.’’
Regional and landscape studies in Europe have varied dramatically in their
theoretical orientation, ranging from phenomenological approaches (e.g., Tilley
1994, 2004) to projects that successfully combine elements of processual and
postprocessual schools of thought (e.g., Thurston 2001). The geographic scale of
regional and landscape projects has varied considerably as well, falling within
national boundaries, topographic boundaries, or traditional European geographic
areas such as Bohemia, Moravia, or Transdanubia.
Examples of such studies that have focused on enclosures and fortifications
include the collections in Kaufmann’s edited volume (1990) of central and
eastern European sites and Trnka’s (1991) detailed descriptions of Middle
Neolithic enclosures in Austria, Germany, and the former Czechoslovakia (see
also Meyer 2003).
These regional approaches have provided a context for understanding the
occurrence of prehistoric enclosures on the landscape. This has had varied
implications in different parts of Europe. For example, Galaty (Galaty 2005, p. 297;
see also Bradley 1998) observes that in parts of Europe—such as in Britain—where
Neolithic and Bronze Age habitation sites are more difficult to identify but where
monumental sites (e.g., enclosures, henges, barrows) are common, archaeologists
have tended not to focus on the analysis of settlements themselves but rather have
used these monumental sites as a proxy for understanding the distribution of groups
across the landscape and the degree to which their experience of the landscape was
dictated by social concerns over subsistence needs. By contrast, in those areas where
habitation sites are identified more easily, for example, in the Mediterranean and in
central and southeastern Europe where tells are common in these periods, but where
elements of the ‘‘sacred landscape’’ are less conspicuous, archaeologists have
tended to emphasize ecological approaches.
Theoretical perspectives notwithstanding, these regional and landscape-
based research projects have provided us with the cultural backdrops
necessary for interpreting enclosures and fortifications on the landscape (e.g.,
Bender 1993; Darvill 1997; Edmonds 1999). Before this trend, a site-based
perspective dominated this and most other aspects of European prehistoric
research. Combined with technological developments in radiocarbon dating,
especially AMS (Accelerated Mass Spectrometry) techniques, as well as in aerial
photography and remote sensing, these regional data sets have broadened our
understanding not only of the spatial distribution of these features on the landscape
J Archaeol Res (2007) 15:97–141 107
but also of the temporal development of the sites themselves within their regional
One important realization that has been essential to the interpretation of these
features has been the tendency to view enclosures and fortifications as
palimpsests that have been created, in some cases, over hundreds or thousands
of years. While monumental sites were understood to have been created over long
periods of time, it was not until the widespread application of systematic large-
scale excavation, geophysical prospection, and radiocarbon dating that the time
depth associated with these features could be fully appreciated and the
implications of these patterns could be incorporated into archaeological models
(Edmonds 1999, p. 59).
The site of Avebury in the upper Kennet Valley of north Wiltshire in
southern England is a good example of how our interpretation of individual sites
has changed over time (see Fig. 3A). The site was the subject of antiquarian
interest for several hundred years (see Ucko et al. 1991, p. 10) and was
documented during the 17th and 18th centuries by Aubrey and Stukeley. Ucko
et al. (1991, p. 241) trace the beginnings of systematic and scientific
archaeology at the site to 1908, when an excavation campaign was undertaken
by the British Association for the Advancement of Science. During that time
Harold St. George Gray tried to date the stone circles at the site via principles
of stratigraphy and artifactual association. Although previous work at the site
indicated that the artifacts were prehistoric, it was not until the ceramics from
Avebury were analyzed alongside sequences recently available from Windmill
Hill and other Wiltshire sites that Avebury could be securely assigned to the
transition between the Neolithic and the Bronze Age (see Ucko et al. 1991,
p. 242).
It was not until the last quarter of the 20th century, however, that the time depth
and phases of the development of the site could be delineated more precisely in
radiocarbon years (see Gillings and Pollard 2004, p. 24, Table 2, based on Whittle
1993). As recently as 2004, Gillings and Pollard (2004, p. 42) have described the
component chronology as ‘‘woefully inadequate.’’ They attributed this to the
paucity of modern excavation within the henge and from the scant datable material.
The radiocarbon dates include ten dates that relate to episodes of henge construction
and eight that relate to pre-enclosure activity and occupation outside the henge.
There are no dates for several features at the site, including the inner circles and
settings, the avenues, or the primary bank. Stonehenge, by contrast, boasts 54
reliable dates but still suffers from problems of dating (Bayliss et al. 1997). Hence,
although radiocarbon dating can help clarify phases of construction and develop-
ment at these kinds of sites, it by no means constitutes a panacea for decoding their
sometimes very detailed chronological puzzles.
The widespread application of absolute dating methods, therefore, has
added two dimensions of variability to our understanding of Neolithic and
Bronze Age enclosures and fortifications—temporal variability associated with the
construction and use of specific features and the distribution of the features across
the continent. The contrast between Childe’s (1925) original chronology and
108 J Archaeol Res (2007) 15:97–141
Renfrew’s revised temporal framework based on radiocarbon dating pushed the
European Neolithic back nearly 3,000 years, creating the autonomous development
of Neolithic European enclosures and a Bronze Age ‘‘Wessex without Mycenae’’
(Renfrew 1968, 1973, pp. 96–97).
In addition to absolute dating techniques, large-scale horizontal excavation has
proven to be one of the most important contributions to our understanding of
prehistoric fortifications and enclosures in the 20th century. For example, some
British enclosures initially were labeled ‘‘causewayed camps’’ by analogy to
Roman fortifications (Curwen 1930; Evans 1988). However, the lack of structures
that could be associated with habitation within the enclosures posed an interpre-
tative problem, and the ditches themselves initially were considered to be pit
houses. Bersu’s large-scale excavation of Ro
ssen culture enclosures in central
Europe revealed rectangular houses that were more reasonably interpreted as
habitations (Bersu 1938, 1940). By the 1950s there was a growing sense that British
enclosures differed from the inhabited examples from the continent, and alternative
interpretations of settlement free enclosures such as ‘‘cattle kralls’’ (Piggott 1954)
and ‘‘ritual exchange grounds’’ (Smith 1971) became more widely accepted.
Hundreds of subsequent large-scale horizontal excavations have demonstrated that
‘‘vacant enclosures’’ occur throughout parts of continental Europe as well (see
Figs. 3 and 4).
The details of individual site histories also have been advanced by chemical
techniques such as isotopic analyses, as indicated by the announcement in 2004
that at least three of the ‘‘builders’’ of Stonehenge were Welsh, or the earlier
assertion that the so-called King of Stonehenge (aka the Amesbury Archer; see
Stone 2004) was, in fact, from central Europe. These assertions were prompted by
bone chemistry studies that linked burials near the site to these other regions. Like
several hard-science techniques in archaeology, when methods of isotopic analysis
initially were developed, they promised to solve several of our questions about the
past. But, as with most techniques, as soon as they began to be used to help
answer questions about the past, they came under scrutiny and have been
significantly revised and reevaluated (see Burton and Price 2003; Burton et al.
One of the most important technical developments for understanding
prehistoric European enclosures and fortifications has been the widespread
application of site-based remote-sensing techniques such as magnetometry,
electric resistivity, and ground-penetrating radar. Several of these techniques
were developed decades ago, but because their cost initially was prohibitive,
they became commonplace as exploratory methods only during the last dec-
ade. Although these methods have impacted our knowledge of stand-alone
monumental sites and complexes in western Europe such as Avebury (see
Gillings and Pollard 2004; Ucko et al. 1991) and Stonehenge (e.g., Parker
Pearson et al. 2004), they have revolutionized our understanding of the
relationship between fortifications, enclosures, and settlements in prehistoric central
and eastern Europe.
J Archaeol Res (2007) 15:97–141 109
One area in particular that has benefited from the application of these site-based
remote-sensing techniques is the Great Hungarian Plain, where Neolithic and
Bronze Age tell sites have been the focus of intensive, systematic research since
at least the middle of the 20th century (Kalicz and Raczky 1987; O’Shea 1996).
There, ditches and palisades had been documented around a handful of Middle
and Late Neolithic settlement sites before the end of the 1980s (Horva
th 1988,
1989). Most of these features had been discovered either during large-scale
horizontal excavations or via hand coring or augering in the vicinity of settlement
sites. Now such features are considered a common phenomenon on prehistoric
sites in the region largely because of the more widespread application of site-
based remote-sensing techniques (see, e.g., Raczky et al. 2002; Schier and
Draovean 2004). In concert with soil chemistry studies, magnetometric surveys in
southeastern Hungary have demonstrated that these features continued into the
Copper Age (see Parkinson et al. 2004a, b; Sarris et al. 2004; Fig. 5), a period
thought to have been more peaceful when fortifications became ‘‘superfluous’’
(e.g., Bogna
n 1972).
Aerial photography and prospection from low-flying aircraft also have
contributed significantly to our understanding of the layout and distribution of
enclosures throughout the 20th century (e.g., Griffith 2001; St. Joseph 1945;
Whimster 1989). The dramatic political changes throughout Europe over the last
two decades has led to major advances in this domain (e.g., Becker 1996; Oexle
1997). The relaxation of restrictions on flight paths in some central and eastern
European countries led to an explosion of aerial reconnaissance in regions that
previously were off limits. Braasch (2002) notes that most countries in western
Europe never restricted flight paths or aerial photography. In contrast, few
possibilities were available in Soviet bloc nations from 1939 or 1940 until 1989 or
1990. This led to a biased view of feature distribution on the continent that
gradually is being corrected by more recent research in those regions. Petrasch
(1990, p. 413) notes that before 1970 only three enclosures were known from
southeastern Bavaria, but with the use of aerial photography this number is now
over 3,000 (see also Gojda 1997).
One other important factor that has contributed to our increased under-
standing of enclosures and fortifications in prehistoric Europe is the increased
concern with preserving cultural heritage in the face of development (see
papers in Archaeologia Polona, vol. 38, 2000). Due at least in part to the
guidelines set out in the revised European Convention on the Protection of
the Archaeological Heritage in 1992, there has been an increasing concern
with preserving and documenting archaeological resources in the face of
Like aerial reconnaissance, the concern for cultural heritage management
has had an unbalanced history throughout Europe. In general, western con-
tinental Europe and Great Britain have had a longer history than their central
and eastern European counterparts. For example, Avebury and Stonehenge
have been recognized as UNESCO World Heritage monuments since 1986.
Similarly, the Paleolithic caves in the Ve
re Valley in France have been listed
110 J Archaeol Res (2007) 15:97–141
since 1979. Countries in central and eastern Europe have nearly no prehistoric sites
on the list and significantly fewer sites overall.
This unbalanced situation has changed considerably throughout the develop-
ment of the European Union (EU), especially because of infrastructural projects
in those countries that were admitted more recently. This has had a dramatic
affect on those ten countries that were admitted in 2004, most of which are in
central and eastern Europe. These include the Czech Republic, Estonia,
Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia. Bulgaria and
Romania hope to follow in 2007. Most of these countries underwent dramatic
political and economic transformations during the last two decades and were
encouraged to make significant investments in infrastructure before their full
admission to the EU. Of particular relevance to archaeology were investments in
transportation and in cultural resource and heritage management that resulted in
both the construction of new roads and funding for cultural resource
management (CRM).
The combination of a growing concern for cultural heritage along with fledgling
market economies and dramatic investments in transportation and energy
infrastructure led, especially in eastern Europe, to the discovery, exploration, and
documentation of several prehistoric sites that previously had been completely
unknown or very poorly understood. The nature of rescue excavations during the
construction or expansion of highways or gas pipelines has led to a unique
archaeological perspective that emphasizes large horizontal exposures over detailed
stratigraphic analyses. This, of course, is necessitated by the hurried environment
created by trying to document and remove cultural remains in the shadow of
construction crews and equipment. In several parts of eastern Europe, for example,
motorway sites are excavated using bulldozers to remove some or all of the
plowzone or, in some cases, to remove all the cultural levels to the sterile subsoil.
Similar techniques also were used in western Europe (Sommer 2000). What this
methodology lacks in attention to stratigraphic detail it makes up for in the large-
scale horizontal exposure of sites.
Although the large-scale horizontal exposure of sites was a long-standing
tradition in eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, the practice has been
encouraged by recent CRM projects that have dramatically altered our
understanding of the relationship between enclosures, fortifications, and settle-
ments. In addition to providing invaluable information regarding settlement
organization, this methodology also results in the discovery of burials that
frequently are not represented on the surface and are discovered only during
subsurface excavation. For example, during the construction of the M3 motorway
in Hungary, which connects a 175-km stretch from Budapest to the Ukrainian
border and runs through a substantial section of the Tisza Valley, over 150
sites were discovered or encountered, several of which had large surface
exposures of 30–40 ha (Kova
cs et al. 1997). Similar results occurred in East
Germany (Sta
uble 2002).
The scale of some rescue projects also adds another spatial dimension to our
understanding of the past. Because gas lines and highways tend to be long and
J Archaeol Res (2007) 15:97–141 111
linear, they add a data set that can complement those collected via systematic
regional survey projects, which tend to cover blocks of the landscape. For example,
the M5 motorway project in Hungary, which extended from Budapest to the Serbian
border, identified over 100 archaeological sites within one 48-km stretch (Szalontai
2003). Similar comparisons can be made in different parts of Hungary with data
collected during the Magyarorsza
szeti Topogra
ja surveys (see, e.g.,
Ecsedy et al. 1982;Ja
nkovich et al. 1989, 1998). By combining data collected via
systematic surveys and through CRM projects, the researcher can gain an
appreciation for the formal, spatial, and temporal variability of fortifications and
enclosures on the landscape.
Interpretive frameworks and theoretical trends
The recent explosion of information about the formal, spatial, and temporal
variability of European fortifications and enclosures has been accompanied by
changing theoretical perspectives regarding the role these features played in
different social contexts. Earlier perspectives that emphasized the political
implications of the labor invested in the construction of the monuments and their
functional role as centers of trade or for defense were replaced in the late 1980s and
throughout the 1990s with growing concern for the symbolic roles of monuments on
the landscape. Even more interpretations have been influenced by a more general
discussion within anthropology about the nature and frequency of warfare in small-
scale societies. Although these varied theoretical perspectives are welcome for
expanding the ways in which we think about the past, they have tended to
emphasize patterns at the local and regional scale. This particularistic approach has
shifted the theoretical focus of most researchers away from more generalizing
approaches that attempt to understand long-term processes over larger geographic
The main interpretive conclusion to be drawn from the last 20 years of
archaeological research on enclosures and fortifications is that there is none. As
Darvill and Thomas (2001b, p. 13) note, ‘‘The idea that all Neolithic enclosures
had a similar role or function within the societies that created and used them is as
laughable as the idea that some kind of universal classification can be applied to
all sites.’’ This statement is as indicative of the diversity recognized in the
features themselves as it is indicative of a theoretical trend away from
generalizing models.
This is a marked contrast from earlier discussions, which frequently ven-
tured into more generalizing frameworks. For example, in his discussion of the
distribution of enclosures in central and western Europe, Whittle (1988) noted
a pattern that included small defensive enclosures in Bohemia and Moravia
and the flourishing of large ritual enclosures in Britain by the later third
millennium. Enclosures in the TRB (Trichterbecher or Funnel Beaker cul-
ture) area were no longer in use at that time, and the tell area of the Balkans
did not have enclosures. This led Whittle to suggest that enclosures may not
have been ‘‘appropriate’’ within the system of tell settlements, perhaps
112 J Archaeol Res (2007) 15:97–141
because the tells themselves were the centers of ritual focus. In the same volume,
Chapman (1988) discussed the topic of enclosures and their relationship to
dispersed and nucleated settlements from a more general perspective that, in his
terms, marked a conceptual shift in how ‘‘space’’ is translated into ‘‘place’’ by
human groups.
It is difficult to find such generalist approaches to understanding these features
in more recent publications. Whittle (1996) is one of only a few who are willing
to venture into a discussion of enclosures as a general cultural phenomenon that
was established early and remained in cultural memory, but then elaborated and
changed as cultural traditions diverged. This is a far cry from asserting a
common function or role for enclosures, but it recognizes that they might be
understood as social phenomena that occurred within a set of spatially and
temporally defined cultural contexts. Like Smith (1971) before him, Whittle
(1996, p. 366) relates the construction of ditched enclosures to the creation of
common identities, as gathering places for feasting, mortuary ritual, prestation,
and the celebration of a ‘‘shared sense of origin and belonging.’’ Whittle’s
synthesis stands out not only for its breadth and depth in organizing and
explaining the variability exhibited in the archaeological record of the European
Neolithic, but also because it attempts to make sense of patterns at the
continental scale. Whittle also is one of the few western European researchers
who pays fair attention to data from eastern Europe (but see also Milisauskas
Other synthetic treatments of enclosures in European prehistory veer away
from modeling the development and spread of these features as a general social
phenomenon. Instead they focus on understanding enclosures within specific
culture historical sequences. For example, Andersen’s (1997) extensive mono-
graph juxtaposes the Sarup enclosures from Denmark against 815 enclosed
Neolithic sites from across Europe. His intent in presenting this massive amount
of information is to provide a backdrop for understanding the Danish
enclosures, using both the European archaeological record as well as
ethnographic information as a sort of middle-range theory for understanding
the Sarup enclosures as ceremonial centers for burial that integrated scattered
settlements (Andersen 1997, p. 309). Although the last two pages of Andersen’s
monograph address the issue of enclosures as a general phenomenon, his
primary intention is to understand site function at Sarup, not to build a more
general model.
Although they vary considerably in the geographic scale at which they
approach the topic, several regional syntheses have appeared recently that provide
various interpretive frameworks for understanding enclosures and fortifications
within their regional contexts. For example, Petrasch’s (1990) synthesis examines
the variability exhibited in Middle Neolithic (Lengyel culture) contexts in central
Europe to assess their role as central places. By identifying a lack of settlement
within the enclosures, he concludes that these sites must have served as gathering
places for ritual.
Many recent syntheses have stressed the monumental aspects of enclosures
and their relationship to group identity, territoriality, and social memory (e.g.,
J Archaeol Res (2007) 15:97–141 113
Bailey 2000; Bradley 1998; Edmonds 1999; Sherratt 1990; Tilley 1996). This
emphasis on the symbolic aspects of monumentality is a striking divergence
from previous models that used monumental architecture as a proxy for social
complexity and as an archaeological indicator for the evolution of chiefly
authority (e.g., Renfrew 1974). Although several of these authors are skeptical of
approaches that stress specific functions of enclosures on the landscape, they
tend to assume that the monumental nature of enclosures, megaliths, and
barrows was recognized and appreciated universally. This contrasts sharply with
the interpretation of similar monumental constructions in North America, which
have emphasized the act of performing a communal task as much as the
monumentality of the finished product (e.g., Mainfort and Sullivan 1998;
Yerkes 2003).
This tendency to use symbolic, regionally specific, interpretive frameworks is
reflective of a general trend in Neolithic archaeology. In his discussion of
Neolithic archaeology, Bradley (1998) outlines two approaches to understanding
the period, one that emphasizes the economic aspects of the transition to
agriculture, and another that emphasizes the social impacts of the new ideas
associated with farming. The latter, which he calls the ‘‘economic approach,’’ was
particularly important in the 1970s and 1980s and presupposed that Neolithic
systems of belief were a consequence of agriculture. The former he traces to
Hodder’s (1990) continental-scale approach in The Domestication of Europe and
regional approaches such as Thomas’ (1991) Rethinking the Neolithic and Tilley’s
(1996) An Ethnography of the Neolithic. Bradley (1998, p. 13) laments that, with
the exception of Whittle’s book, most studies ‘‘align themselves on either side of
an intellectual division which is hard to bridge.’ Thus, he argues, Neolithic
studies have concentrated on either ideology or economy with little effort to
examine the relationships between the two. Treatments of enclosures have
followed a similar pattern, despite their obvious potential for exploring links
between economic practices and ideology.
But just as interpretations of prehistoric enclosures have followed general trends
in archaeological theory, an increased appreciation for their variability also has
prompted theoretical inquiries into specific aspects of social behavior. One of the
most obvious examples is the reinvigorated interest in prehistoric warfare, prompted
at least in part by the publication of Keeley’s (1996) War before Civilization. The
germs of thought that resulted in Keeley’s controversial book initially were sown
during his collaborative excavations with Cahen at enclosed Early Neolithic (LBK)
settlements in Belgium (see Cahen et al. 1990; Keeley 1992; Keeley and Cahen
1989). Keeley’s book was written as a reaction to what he termed the ‘‘pacification
of the past’’—a general trend he traces to post-World War II scholarship that
emphasized neo-Rousseauian notions of primitive societies despite compelling
evidence that fortifications were common in prehistoric Europe. Keeley cites
ditches, palisades, and baffle gates as features that were most easily explained as
Chapman (1999) criticizes Keeley’s characterization of European prehistorians
as pacifiers of the past, noting his omission of the work of Gimbutas (e.g.,
114 J Archaeol Res (2007) 15:97–141
Gimbutas 1978, 1979, 1980), who frequently discussed models of invasion into
Europe from the Pontic steppes during the Copper Age. Indeed, few archaeol-
ogists in central and eastern Europe had problems envisioning warfare as
anything but commonplace during the Neolithic (e.g., Bogna
n 1972,
pp. 170–171). If anything, eastern European models of social change throughout
the 20th century relied too much on invasions and migrations as explanatory
frameworks. Tell sites from the eastern Carpathian Basin and throughout the
Balkan peninsula, which frequently were surrounded by ditches and ramparts,
had long been interpreted as ‘‘fortified’’ centers (Horva
th 1988; Kalicz and
Raczky 1987; Kokkinidou and Nikolaidou 1999; Makkay 1982; Raczky 1988;
1995). Indeed Tringham’s (1971) assertion that ditches were just as likely
to have been used for animal keeping was, if anything, exceptional at the
time. Only recently have scholars in this part of the world begun to adopt more
symbolic models for the role of enclosures (e.g., Makkay 2001; Pleslova-Stikova
Similarly, Neolithic and Copper Age sites on the Iberian peninsula, such as Los
Millares (Chapman 2003; Monks 1997), consistently have been recognized as
fortified regional centers since they first were identified in the early 1900s.
Likewise, the large sites with monumental enclosures in this part of the world (e.g.,
La Pijotilla, Marroquı
es Bajos) have long been interpreted as heavily fortified
centers (see Cruz-Aun
n and Arteaga 1995; Nocete 1994, 2001). Monk’s (1997,
1998) recent research in this part of the continent documents the temporal and
spatial variability associated with defensive features and weapons and their
relationship to feasting, trade, and ritual.
Throughout the 1990s several other books on ancient and ‘‘primitive’’ warfare
appeared (e.g., Carman 1997; Carman and Harding 1999; Ferguson and Whitehead
1992;Haas1990;Kelly2000; Martin and Frayer 1992;Osgood1998;Osgoodetal.
2000; Otterbein 2004), several of which focus on prehistoric Europe. In addition to
anthropological and archaeological perspectives, military historians also began to
discuss the topic, adding a comparative perspective between states and nonstates and
to discuss features such as fortifications, logistics, rationale for war, and evolution in
military technology (e.g., Gray 1997; Keegan 1993;Lambert2002;Lee2004).
One result of this renewed interest in warfare, combined with the results of
additional excavations at other sites throughout the European continent
during the late 1980s and 1990s, is a general recognition that warfare was a
common occurrence throughout the prehistory of Europe and that palisades
and baffle gates should be considered compelling evidence. Rather than argu-
ing about whether warfare occurred, most recent treatments have focused
on describing the temporal and spatial variability associated with the phe-
nomenon (e.g., Keeley et al. 2007
). In addition to Monk’s (1997, 1998, 2000)
exploration of variability in the Neolithic and Copper Age of Iberia, discussed
above, Chapman (1999) combines the analyses of site types and artifact classes
potentially used as weapons to argue for a general increase in frequency and
diversity of defenses and potential weapons throughout the Neolithic and Copper
J Archaeol Res (2007) 15:97–141 115
Age of central and eastern Europe. Mercer (1999) assumes a similar diachronic
approach to the evidence in the British Isles.
The gradual recognition of differences in space and time associated with
prehistoric European enclosures and fortifications has led to more nuanced
interpretations that draw from a variety of theoretical frameworks, most of which
emphasize regional or local scales of analysis and interpretation. This trend away
from more generalizing models that seek to explain archaeological phenomena at
larger temporal and spatial scales has followed a general trend in archaeological
research that began with a concern for regional analysis in the New Archaeology
(e.g., Binford 1964; Clarke 1972) and gave way gradually to landscape studies
and settlement pattern approaches (Galaty 2005). Similarly, the theoretical
frameworks that emphasized labor and political organization (e.g., Renfrew 1974)
have yielded to those that emphasize the symbolic role of monuments and their
implications for understanding things like cultural identity and group memory (e.g.,
Edmonds 1999). This follows a healthy trend in the discipline that encourages
theoretical eclecticism (see Fowles 2002; Parkinson and Galaty 2007). Finally, the
issue of warfare and the potential use of enclosures as fortifications mimics a
general pattern in archaeology, anthropology, and military history that has led to a
more reasonable and realistic understanding of violence and warfare in different
cultural contexts.
Enclosures and fortifications in cross-cultural perspective
With a few notable exceptions (e.g., Hodder 1990; Whittle 1996), most authors
shy away from dealing with the more general question of why such features
appeared and disappeared within a few thousand years in this corner of the world,
favoring instead a focus on regional or local trends. This emphasis on the
particularistic characteristics of different regional trajectories has discouraged
the application of comparative frameworks for understanding the occurrence of
enclosures and fortifications. Although some authors cite ethnographic or ethno-
historic examples in their interpretations of enclosures [e.g., Parker Pearson
and Ramilisonina’s (1998a, b) comparison of rituals at Avebury and Stonehenge
to rituals in Madagascar], the use of these analogies is usually anecdotal and
ad hoc. It seldom takes the form of an explicit comparison (but see Duffy 2005;
Keeley et al. 2007).
The absence of explicit comparative frameworks for understanding the variability
exhibited in prehistoric European enclosures is striking, for similar features occur
not only in many ethnographic and ethnohistoric contexts but also in several well-
known prehistoric and historic archaeological contexts. By exploring the variability
exhibited in different parts of the world, it may be possible to better understand the
variability exhibited in the European record as well as the similarities in social
organization between the different contexts. Such a broad-brush perspective then
can be used to supplement—but not replace—regionally and locally specific
interpretive frameworks.
116 J Archaeol Res (2007) 15:97–141
This section briefly reviews the temporal and formal distribution of
enclosures and fortifications in other parts of the world and examines the
relationship between these features and settlements in an attempt to identify
patterns helpful in interpreting the variability exhibited throughout Europe.
This is not intended to be a comprehensive overview of all enclosures and
fortifications worldwide. Rather we aim to demonstrate some ways in which
comparative archaeological contexts can provide an untapped resource for
understanding variability in material culture.
We focus our discussion on the occurrence of fortifications and enclosures in
four regions: Formative Mesoamerica, the Pre-Pottery Neolithic (PPN) Levant,
and the eastern United States during the Archaic and Woodland periods.
These case studies were chosen because they represent a range of different
economic and subsistence systems that make good analogies to different contexts
in Europe. Like most of the European contexts, the comparative examples are
basically ‘‘egalitarian’’ or ‘‘tribal’’ societies that did not have institutionalized
forms of hereditary inequality (see Fowles 2002; Parkinson 2002a). Our case
studies are a sedentary autonomous village society in Formative Mesoamerica
that was dependent on maize agriculture, a mobile hunting and gathering society
in the Archaic southeastern United States that lived in dispersed, ephemeral
settlements, a somewhat mobile horticultural society in the Woodland east-
ern United States that was dependent on hunting, gathering, and a few
domesticates, and an autonomous village society in the PPN Levant that was
dependent on Old World domesticates. The latter case also is related directly
to the trajectory in southeastern Europe and the Balkans and indirectly to the rest
of Europe.
Our brief survey suggests that at least in Europe, the Near East, Mesoamerica,
and the southeastern United States there is a tendency of enclosures and
fortifications to be associated with societies that seemed to have a ‘‘social
calculus’’ (sensu Kelly 2000) that recognized formalized social segments and the
principle of social substitutability. According to Kelly (2000), this principle is a
defining element that differentiates war from other forms of violence, such as
murder and capital punishment, that occur between individuals. Conversely, Kelly
(2000, p. 160) relates the emergence of peacemaking institutions to the development
of war, which leads him (2000, p. 161) to conclude that the development of
peacemaking coevolved with the origins of war. In other words, the peaceful
counterpoint to intergroup warfare is intergroup ritual.
We contend that a social calculus recognizing social segmentation and a principle
of social substitution probably emerged earlier in these different parts of the world.
However, the construction of fortifications and enclosures on the landscape
indicates the formalized, material representation of these social institutions and their
relationship to specific spots on the landscape.
Formative Mesoamerica
The earliest dated enclosure in the Valley of Oaxaca is a palisade from Tierras
Largas phase (3500–3100 B.P.) San Jose
Mogote (Flannery and Marcus 2003), an
J Archaeol Res (2007) 15:97–141 117
early agricultural village without evidence of institutionalized inequality but with
very good evidence for social segmentation. Flannery and Marcus (2003) interpret
the palisade features as fortifications and relate their development to warfare and a
context in which a principle of social substitutability prevails. Fortifications imply
the social conditions where attacks occur on villages or groups rather than on
Similarly, the earliest evidence for constructed features associated with
communal rituals from Oaxaca comes from the same site during the same period
(Marcus and Flannery 2004). These communal structures—one-room, lime-
plastered buildings (approximately 4 m · 6 m)—covered about 300 m
. The
buildings sat on platforms surrounded by a plaster apron and all had similar
orientations. Marcus and Flannery (2004) interpret these structures as ‘‘men’s
houses’’ that began to replace more informal venues such as ‘‘dance grounds’’ that
were the sites of ad hoc rituals during the Archaic period.
Although Flannery and Marcus do not address this issue directly, the co-
occurrence of these two features at the same site at the same time almost
certainly is not coincidental. Both features—the palisade and the men’s houses—
can be viewed as the result of more formalized social segments within
Mesoamerican society during the Early Formative. However, whereas the
palisade is indicative of group-oriented hostile interactions between social
segments, the communal structures or men’s houses are indicative of ritual or
more amicable interactions that integrated social segments. Thus, the correlation
between the palisade and the men’s houses at Early Formative San Jose
together may be indicative not only of the formalization of substitutable social
segments but also of the tendency of those segments to interact in hostile or
amicable ways.
In their recent overview, Clark and Cheetham (2002) use distributions of
ceramics, lithic types, and figurines to document the development of similar social
institutions among ‘‘village-agriculturalists’’ throughout Mesoamerica around
1500–1100 B.C., including social occasions involving ball games, costumed
dancers, and music in highland Mexico; feasting, ritual drinking, and communal
projects in Chiapas; and shamanistic practices and ancestor veneration in the
lowland Maya region. They suggest that charismatic leaders, or ‘‘aggrandizers,’’
would have held central leadership positions in planning and sponsoring the
activities that brought people together and that these ‘‘tribal’’ social contexts were
critical for the development and establishment of institutionalized ranking in these
various areas.
The Mesoamerican example provides an interesting comparison to some
European Neolithic societies such as the tell-based societies in southeastern
Europe, which from early in their occupation were surrounded by communally
constructed features that could have been used as fortifications or as symbolic
demarcations of the landscape (Fig. 6B). In contrast to the European case,
however, where similar sorts of social institutions existed within unranked
tribal social systems for thousands of years, in most parts of Mesoamerica the
establishment of these social institutions related to social segmentation led to
118 J Archaeol Res (2007) 15:97–141
ranked social systems within a few hundred years (see Clark and Cheetham 2002,
Table 1; Flannery and Marcus 2003; Marcus and Flannery 2004).
For Neolithic Europe, Demoule and Perle
s(1993, p. 370) note that several
sites on the Thessalian Plain, such as Souphli and Acheilleion, were sur-
rounded by boundary walls and/or ditches early on. More recent research
suggests this tendency was more temporally and spatially widespread
throughout northern Greece (see Kokkinidou and Nokolaidou 1999). In
addition, the redundant organization of houses and other features at Early
(e.g., Achilleion) and Middle Neolithic (e.g., Otzaki Magoula) sites in
northern Greece indicates social segmentation was present in this region from
the earliest establishment of villages in the late seventh millennium BC (see
Halstead 1999; see also Perle
s 2001, pp. 173–178). Although tell sites in the
Balkans and the Carpathian Basin were not established until the end of the
sixth millennium B.C., sites in those regions frequently boast evidence for
communal construction either in the form of fortifications (e.g., Ho
Gorzsa, see Horva
th 1987) or as settlement boundaries (e.g., Ovcharovo, Polyanitsa,
and Podgoritsa, see Bailey 2000; Baliey et al. 1998; Dumitrescu et al. 1983;
Fig. 6A).
This association between autonomous agricultural villages and communal
features in the form of ditches and walls surrounding the settlements also occurs
in some early LBK contexts on the North European Plain (see Keeley 2002;
Fig. 3C). Although sites in these contexts tend to have longhouses rather than the
smaller houses that predominate further south, the recurrence of the longhouses on
LBK settlements suggests a similar formalization of redundant social units (Keeley
and Cahen 1989).
Pre-Pottery Neolithic Levant
Another part of the world where communally constructed monumental features
occur in association with settlements is during the PPNB period (10,500–8,200 cal.
B.P.) in the Levant (Bar-Yosef and Bar-Yosef Mayer 2002, p. 350), where terrace
walls were built around early agricultural villages such as Beidha (Kirkbride 1966),
‘Ain Ghazal (Rollefson 2000), Tel Halula (Molist 1998), and Magzalia (Bader
1989). These are slightly later than the construction of the monumental tower and
outer wall at PPNA Jericho, which may have been for defense (Otterbein 1997)or
for hydrological regulation (Bar-Yosef 1986).
In contrast to the Mesoamerican example, where such features occurred
relatively quickly after the establishment of autonomous villages, villages had
existed in the Levant since the end of the Pleistocene when the Natufian hunter-
gatherers began to settle down into permanent or semipermanent settlements (see
Kuijt 1996; Kuijt and Goring-Morris 2002). Food production began in the region at
the beginning of the Holocene during the PPNA period and accompanied the
construction of communal buildings such as the tower at Jericho (Bar-Yosef 1986)
and other structures such as the ‘‘kiva’’ at Jer el Ahmar (Stordeur 2000a, b).
J Archaeol Res (2007) 15:97–141 119
Bar-Yosef and Bar-Yosef Mayer (2002, p. 351) suggest communally constructed
features continued into the PPNB period at sites such as Beidha, ‘Ain Ghazal,
Navali C¸ ori, and C¸ ayo
, when ceremonial centers began to occur more frequently
throughout the landscape. They also identify several sites where religious activities
seem to have been the central focus, including Go
bekli Tepe, Kfar HaHoresh, and
Ba’ja. They argue that these features suggest a segmented form of territorial social
organization for the PPNB period and that the ceremonial centers served to integrate
settlements across large territories by providing venues for social interaction (see
Bar-Yosef and Bar-Yosef Mayer 2002, Fig. 8).
The Near Eastern example provides an interesting contrast with the
European and Mesoamerican sequences because it represents a prehistoric
trajectory where sedentism preceded agriculture by several thousand years. At
the same time, it differs from Mesoamerica but shares with Europe the feature
that autonomous agricultural villages persisted for several thousand years
before there is evidence of institutionalized hereditary social ranking.
Although there is evidence for several patterns of social change from the
Natufian throughout the Pre-Pottery Neolithic, such as changes in house form,
settlement organization, increased compartmentalization within settlements,
population growth, nucleation, and changes in mortuary practices (see Byrd
2005; Kuijt 1996, 2000; Kuijt and Goring-Morris 2002), there is little evidence
throughout these periods for fortifications around settlements. As Bar-Yosef
and Bar-Yosef Mayer (2002, p. 359) note, the tower at PPNA Jericho functioned
differently from Bronze Age or Medieval towers, which tended to be built outside
the perimeter of the wall, apparently to shoot climbing attackers.
This lack of fortifications around settlements is especially striking given the
tendency throughout the PPNB period toward rapid population growth and
settlement nucleation—factors that should, it would seem, encourage raiding and
warfare (see Kelly 2000). Nucleation itself can be a replacement for fortification,
insomuch as it discourages attack (Tuzin 2001), but the evidence from the
Levant suggests that the nature of interaction between the farming and foraging
groups who lived in the region was predominantly peaceful throughout the Pre-
Pottery Neolithic and played out in the form of trade, exchange, and ritual
At the beginning of the Pottery Neolithic, c. 8000–7750 B.P., many, if not
most, of the large PPNB villages in the south-central Levant were abandoned and
replaced with new, smaller hamlets. Kujit (2000) attributes this in part to
environmental shifts but also to inherent limitations in the social organization of
Late PPNB societies, which could not deal adequately with social crowding
and other issues of scalar stress (Johnson 1982; see also Bandy 2004;
Parkinson 2006).
Despite the close geographic proximity and shared cultural heritages
between the Neolithic societies of the Near East and Europe, there are few
useful parallels to aid in understanding the roles played by fortifications and
enclosures around settlements. This is particularly surprising for central and
southeastern Europe, the areas that shared the closest cultural histories with
120 J Archaeol Res (2007) 15:97–141
their Near Eastern counterparts. However, the organization and distribution of the
nondomestic ‘‘ritual’’ sites that became common during PPNB do share some
affinities with the causewayed enclosures that became common during the
Scandinavian and British Neolithic and with later Neolithic and Copper Age
societies in central Europe (e.g., Bodrogkeresztu
r, see Ka
llay 1990; Makkay and
s 2002), where enclosures and henges occur not in direct association with
settlements but as discrete entities on the landscape.
Prehistoric eastern United States
Still other parallels come from the midwestern and southeastern United States in the
Archaic and Woodland periods. In those contexts earthen enclosures and
‘‘monumental’’ effigy mounds were constructed not directly in association with
agricultural settlements, but isolated on the landscape by people who were primarily
(in the case of the Woodland) or exclusively (in the case of the Archaic) hunter-
gatherers. Although these features bear several resemblances to some of their
Neolithic European counterparts, the nature of interaction that occurred at these
sites seems to have differed in substantial ways.
By the middle of the Archaic period in the southeastern United States (c. 5800–
3570 B.C., see Anderson 2002, Table 1), the hunter-gatherers who occupied the
region began to construct massive earthen mound complexes at sites such as Caney,
Frenchman’s Bend, Hedgepeth, and Watson Brake (Fig. 7B). These sites have
multiple mounds that in some cases were connected by earthen embankments,
creating enclosed areas.
In their recent detailed synthesis of Watson Brake, a site in northeastern
Louisiana, Saunders et al. (2005) trace the construction of the mounds to a group of
mound sites throughout Louisiana and Mississippi that were established during the
sixth millennium B.C. Others (e.g., Clark 2004; Sassaman and Heckenberger 2004)
have argued that several of these sites also may share astronomical layouts. The
sites vary considerably in layout, size, and associated features and artifacts (e.g.,
point types), but the mound-building tradition appeared approximately 6,000 years
ago and lasted for roughly 1,000 years before disappearing (see Saunders et al.
2005, p. 663). The mound-building tradition reemerged in the Southeast during
Poverty Point times, c. 2700–2300 B.P., but in contrast to the Middle Archaic
mound group, which exhibits a considerable degree of formal variability from site to
site, the later societies focused their efforts on constructing the mounds at only a few
sites such as Poverty Point and Jaketown (Saunders 2004).
Anderson (2002) relates the establishment of mound groups during the
Middle Archaic in the Southeast to the development of tribal forms of social
organization, when the hunting and gathering bands that had occupied the
region from the Paleoindian period began to integrate into more complex
social units. He suggests that mound sites such as Watson Brake can be
interpreted as evidence of regular intensive interaction between band-size
social segments, where social tasks were carried out that could promote
‘‘tribal’’ solidarity. Anderson suggests that such social forms may have
J Archaeol Res (2007) 15:97–141 121
developed as early as the late Paleoindian period, for example, during the Dalton
Efflorescence (c. 12,500–11,200 B.C.) in the central Mississippi Valley, but that
such early tendencies toward ‘‘tribalization’’ either did not take root or spread
widely (Anderson 2002, p. 251). Sometime during the Archaic, however, the
development of these social structures became common features across the eastern
United States, as indicated not only by the Middle Archaic mound groups in
Louisiana and Mississippi but also by early mound sites constructed of earth and
shell in Florida (Fig. 7A–F). Other Archaic cultures such as the Shell Mound
Archaic in the Midsouth and the Old Copper culture of the Great Lakes region
emerged about the same time and indicate similar patterns towards regional
Fig. 7 Archaic sites in the southeastern United States. (A) Oxeye Island shell ring, FL. (B) Rollins shell
ring, FL. (C) Guana River shell ring, FL. (D) Horr’s Island shell ring, FL. (E) Bonita Bay shell ring, FL.
(F) Joseph Reed shell ring, FL. (G) Watson Brake Mounds, Louisiana. Contour lines are 1-m intervals.
After Anderson (2002, pp. 255–256) with modifications
122 J Archaeol Res (2007) 15:97–141
Anderson (2002, p. 257) relates these social changes to increased population
densities and climatic uncertainty during the Middle Archaic. Hamilton (1999) has
suggested that the construction of mounds such as Watson Brake may coincide with
the rise of El Nin
o-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) climatic events. Detailed analysis
by Saunders et al. (2005), however, indicates that the mounds were built during
stable climatic conditions, not unstable ones. Ultimately, they conclude that the
causal relationship between mound building activity and environmental events is
currently untestable.
These features bear striking resemblances to Neolithic enclosures, henges, and
earthworks in parts of Europe that are isolated on the landscape or at least are not
in direct association with settlements (e.g., in parts of Britain and Scandinavia and
at some Lengyel sites in central Europe). In the British and Scandinavian cases,
there are some additional parallels with the southeastern U.S. societies in regard to
subsistence and/or mobility. While the Scandinavian societies, albeit reliant on
wild resources, had been sedentary since the Mesolithic and gradually adopted a
Neolithic economy (i.e., Ertebølle), the British societies were somewhat mobile
throughout the Neolithic and continued to rely heavily on wild resources. In these
cases, the model Anderson suggested for the role of mounds in the Archaic of the
southeastern United States—as integrative centers that served to bring together
disparate groups on the landscape—may very well apply (for similar positions see
Piggott 1965; Smith 1971). However, such an argument cannot be proposed for
explaining the appearance of such features in other parts of the European
sequence, for example, during the Copper Age and later Neolithic of central
Europe where sedentary farming societies had been established for nearly
2,000 years.
Although the mound cultures of the southeastern United States may bear some
behavioral resemblances to European contexts, insomuch as the mound and
enclosure sites may have served to integrate dispersed groups across the
landscape, the nature of interaction that occurred at those sites seems to have
been quite different. For the southeastern United States, several authors (e.g.,
Russo, Saunders, and Widmer; see Anderson 2002, pp. 256–257) have argued that
the sizes of the individual mounds (of earth and shell) within a site may be related
to the size and abilities of the individual groups that created them. This suggests
some degree of intergroup competition in performance and, presumably,
Most of the European sites do not exhibit such intrasite variability. Rather, the
emphasis in the European enclosures seems to have been on the cooperative
production of the whole rather than on the specific parts. In the Southeast, while
there may have been some general layout that guided the overall pattern of mound
placement and site development, the main emphasis seems to have been on the
construction of the individual features, with the final form almost being an
afterthought. This tendency persisted throughout the Archaic and reemerged again
during Adena and Hopewell times, when the communal creation of seemingly
idiosyncratic features such as effigy mounds and other earthworks on the landscape
again brought together mobile groups from a large geographic area (see Bernardini
2004; Yerkes 2002).
J Archaeol Res (2007) 15:97–141 123
Thus, although the construction of these enclosure and mound sites may have
served similar integrative functions in the different societies who created them, the
actual processes and events that were carried out at those sites differed considerably.
This necessitates a deeper examination of the specific social processes that we lump
together under the general rubric of ‘‘communal labor.’
Throughout Europe during the Neolithic and Bronze Age, for example, the
emphasis on communal work usually focused on the final form of the enclosure,
henge, or earthwork, suggesting that an important reason for getting together was to
work together as a whole to achieve a specific task. The archaeological
manifestations of smaller corporate groups within this context either were
intentionally de-emphasized or, during the construction of the feature, came to be
masked by the work of the group as a whole. In the eastern United States, the
emphasis seems to have been more on the construction of specific features within
the site, suggesting that an important reason for getting together was to emphasize
both the identity of smaller social units and their competitive relationships within
larger corporate groups. The emphasis on the competitive nature of social
relationships in the eastern United States may have been promoted by the lack of
such integrative features at the local (i.e., settlement or village) level, which were
well established within most parts of the European sequence since the beginning of
the Neolithic.
This subtle, yet important, distinction between different sorts of communal
labor—competitive versus cooperative—would have had serious implications with
regard to the roles these special sites assumed within their different regional
trajectories. In the eastern United States, mounds sites eventually became the venues
within which political and economic disparities were manifested during the
Mississippian. As such, they continued to remain social arenas where competitive
interaction was carried out between social segments of different scales. In Europe,
by contrast, such sites became rarer over time. By the end of the Bronze Age, most
communally constructed monumental features on the landscape were fortifications
that surrounded settlements, which became the primary focus of group-level
competition. These different emphases in the nature of social interaction and
integration, therefore, may help explain why the regions assumed such different
economic and political trajectories over the long term.
In this review, we have attempted to outline the main factors that have
influenced our archaeological understanding of enclosures and fortifications in
European prehistory. We also have attempted to outline how these factors
have been influenced by—and influenced in turn—theoretical trends in
archaeology. Interpretive frameworks for understanding the roles these fea-
tures played within the societies that created, maintained, and otherwise
124 J Archaeol Res (2007) 15:97–141
interacted with them have tended to focus on the regional and local scales. Models
that emphasize the monumentality of features and their implications for complex
political organization have given way to landscape approaches and models that
emphasize the symbolic roles of monuments as parts of larger regional settlement
systems. A renewed interest in ancient warfare in small-scale societies has
generated a great deal of discussion about how to identify fortifications and other
material correlates of intergroup violence in the archaeological record.
We have focused our discussion on two omissions in recent research on
fortifications and enclosures in European prehistory: the lack of more general
models that attempt to understand the occurrence of these features at longer
temporal and larger geographic scales, and the lack of explicit cross-cultural
comparative frameworks in their interpretation.
With very few exceptions (e.g., Hodder 1990; Whittle 1996), most authors have
been reluctant to approach the construction of enclosures and fortifications as a
continent-wide phenomenon that lasted for several thousand years. This tendency
away from more general models began in the 1960s and 1970s with a focus on
regions as primary units of analysis during the New Archaeology (e.g., Binford
1964; Clarke 1972) and continued in the 1980s and 1990s with a focus on settlement
pattern and landscape studies in Europe (see Galaty 2005). During this same time,
technological advances have encouraged more detailed analyses at the regional and
local scales. However, despite the widespread availability of geographical
information systems (GIS) and satellite-based imagery that permits the exploration
of these kinds of archaeological features at large, continent-wide scales of analysis,
such studies are few and far between. Although Andersen (1997), Petrasch (1990),
and others have compiled comprehensive databases that offer the potential for such
detailed diachronic investigations, no one has attempted such a large-scale analysis.
The lack of explicit cross-cultural interpretive frameworks for understanding
enclosures and fortifications and their relationship to settlements and other types of
sites is similarly perplexing, especially because such strikingly similar features
occur in a wide variety of temporal, geographic, economic, and political contexts.
We attribute the absence of such explicit comparative frameworks to a recent
tendency in archaeology toward theoretical frameworks that emphasize the
historical particularities of regional sequences over general trends within different
A more general cross-cultural perspective can be used to augment interpre-
tive frameworks at finer temporal and geographic scales. Such comparisons
can elucidate aspects of variability within the greater European sequence as
well. For example, in our brief discussion of enclosures and fortifications in
other contexts, we attempted to outline long-term patterns of change in
subsistence, settlement organization, and political organization. Some
fortifications around Neolithic European settlements bear striking
resemblances to fortifications in Formative Mesoamerica, for example, and
seem to co-occur with sedentary agricultural settlements that have other
archaeological features indicative of redundant social segments (e.g., in the
J Archaeol Res (2007) 15:97–141 125
Greek Neolithic and the LBK). The Mesoamerican example is much less
helpful in understanding other European contexts because many of the ditched
and causewayed enclosures in the British Neolithic and Later Neolithic enclo-
sures in central Europe (e.g., Lengyel culture) do not occur in direct association
with settlements.
By contrast, fortifications and enclosures were not commonly associated with
the sedentary farming communities in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic of the Near East.
In that context, special sites appeared during PPNA and PPNB that seem to
have brought together disparate groups for ritual and exchange rather than for
intergroup warfare.
Finally, the empty enclosures in some parts of Europe bear formal similarities
to Archaic and Woodland mound groups in the eastern United States. The
formal differences in site and feature organization suggest that although the
creation of both sets of sites may have been the focus of communal activities,
the nature of those communal activities differed significantly with regard to the
emphasis placed on competition versus cooperation. These differences would
have had significant implications for the long-term trajectories of social change
in each region, especially pertaining to the possible venues where inter-
and intragroup social competition could play out. More detailed examinations of
these kinds of relationships may be useful in developing models for understanding
more general trends both within Europe and between Europe and other parts of
the world.
In concert with other authors who contend that models are more effective when
they consider several different scales of analysis (see Fowles 2002; Neitzel 1999;
Parkinson 2006), we suggest it will be helpful to focus these inquiries at several
social, geographic, and temporal levels. The most general of these scales should
question whether—or more appropriately why—features such as empty enclosures
and fortifications appeared in different parts of the world during the Holocene and
not before. These broad-brush inquiries also should question the extent to which the
appearance of these features is associated with the appearance of other archaeo-
logical phenomena that suggest changes in social organization, such as the
development of formalized social segments.
Our brief survey suggests that at least in Europe, the Near East, Mesoamerica,
and the southeastern United States there is a tendency of enclosures as fortifications
to be associated with societies that seemed to have a social calculus (sensu Kelly
2000) that recognized formalized social segments and the principle of social
substitutability. Although these societies differed considerably in the extent to
which they relied on wild versus domestic resources and in their degree of
sedentism, they all exhibited similar systems of social organization that suggest the
integration of social segments into larger, more formalized units on the landscape.
Such social institutions probably developed earlier in all four regions, but the
construction of these material features indicates a formalized, material represen-
tation that linked them to specific spots on the landscape. The critical change,
therefore, seems not to have been the development of new social institutions related
126 J Archaeol Res (2007) 15:97–141
to social segmentation and social substitutability—a process some have called
tribalization (see Braun and Plog 1982; Emerson 1999; Fowles 2002; Parkinson
2002a)—but the institutionalized manifestation of those institutions in material
culture at specific sites on the landscape.
Features and sites indicative of similar social institutions can be traced back into
the European Paleolithic at sites such as Dolnı
stonice-Pavlov, an eastern
Gravettian (Pavlovian) site in southern Moravia that served as a periodic venue for
dispersed hunting-gathering bands to interact (Gamble 1999, p. 384). By the
beginning of the Holocene, cemetery sites such as Oleneostrovskii Mogilnik in
western Russia may have played a similar role in bringing together groups dispersed
over large areas (O’Shea and Zvelebil 1984). However, before the Neolithic such
features and sites were few and far between, suggesting either that the social
institutions associated with segmentation and substitutability were not formally
established or that such social institutions were not tethered to the landscape as they
were in the Neolithic.
We suggest that a constellation of factors came together to create a social
environment that encouraged the crystallization of these social institutions during
the Neolithic. These factors include increased sedentism, territorialism, and food
production. The crystallization of social institutions associated with a social
calculus based on principles of segmentation and substitutability encouraged the
creation of material features that linked them to the landscape. These features—
enclosures and fortifications—are the different faces of intergroup interaction,
one peaceful, the other violent. Conversely, the act of constructing, maintain-
ing, using, and destroying the features would have encouraged the crystallization
of the social institutions themselves, not only by providing venues and occasions
for intergroup events, but also by constructing monumental artifacts on
the landscape that embodied the relationship between the institution and the
site on the landscape.
In the past, researchers working in both the Old and New Worlds suggested that
these monumental prehistoric achievements could be carried out only with some
sort of formalized political inequality (e.g., Renfrew 1974; Yerkes 2002). More
recently, however, a greater appreciation for the great amount of economic,
political, and ideological variability exhibited in egalitarian or tribal societies has
developed (see Parkinson 2002a; Fowles 2002; Spielmann 1998). Several theoret-
ical frameworks, and, of course, new terminologies, have been introduced that try to
articulate methods for usefully sorting through the large amount of social variability
exhibited in these kinds of societies. These include heterarchy (Crumley 1979;
Ehrenreich 1995; Levy 1995; Rautman 1998; Rogers 1995), corporate versus
network-based organizational strategies (e.g., Blanton et al. 1996; Feinman 2000),
rituality (Yoffee 2001), hierocracy (Fowles 2003), and tribal cycles (Parkinson
1999, 2002b) among others. Nevertheless, our current understanding of the
processes and conditions that led to the creation of these more formally integrated
segmentary social systems in different parts of the world has been hindered by a
lack of comparative research at these broader temporal and geographic scales.
J Archaeol Res (2007) 15:97–141 127
Another important question is about the temporal durability of such systems
once they appeared and the conditions under which some of these tribal systems
gave way to more hierarchically organized political systems. Our overview
suggests wide variability in different parts of the world. For example, Clark and
Cheetham (2002) note that most tribal societies in Mesoamerica lasted only a few
hundred years before ranking and institutionalized political inequality appeared.
This is radically different from other parts of the world where tribal systems
cycled for several thousand years between different numbers of levels of
segmental units that were integrated in a group identity. More detailed
comparative analyses of these patterns may reveal similarities in social
organization within the different historical trajectories that can help outline how
special sites and communal achievements provide venues for different forms of
social competition and cooperation in which different political relationships can
play out.
Of particular importance in this regard is not only the relationship between
communal features such as enclosures and fortifications and settlements but also the
relationship between settlements and other foci of inter- and intragroup activities
such as mortuary rituals. Cemeteries and other mortuary sites have a special
relationship in Europe and the Near East, and the nature of that relationship needs to
be explored more explicitly for understanding the nature of social interaction in
these different contexts. Indeed, a detailed analysis of prehistoric barrows and
megalithic tombs in Europe would complement the present discussion because the
geographic and temporal distribution of those features roughly mirrors the
distribution of enclosures and fortifications on the landscape, suggesting that they
were the results of similar social processes.
By dedicating some attention to these broader scales of analysis, it will be
possible to develop comparative analytical frameworks that can augment detailed
regional and local scales of analysis. A multiscalar approach will help us explore the
social processes that led to the construction of monumental, communal features
such as enclosures and fortifications, not only in Europe but in other parts of the
world as well.
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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