Should Wessex hillforts be regarded as centres of political control?

Echoes of Antiquity


During the period between the late Bronze Age and the late Iron Age (800BC-100BC) a series of large defended enclosures emerged. These are known as hillforts and are regarded today as the most visibly striking monuments from the Iron Age period in Britain. These structures are found all over Britain, however, the majority of which appear in Wessex in the counties of Wiltshire, Hampshire, Berkshire, Devon, Somerset and Dorset. Hillforts are settlements which contain a variety of fortifications of different sizes that broadly span the period from around 800 to 100 BC (Cunliffe, 2005, p.348). Over the last hundred years archaeologists have focused their attention on these prominent monuments of the landscape. There have been many excavations of hillforts especially in Wessex .Very few have been examined on a large enough scale (with the exception of Maiden Castle and Danebury) to enable their developing functions to be properly identified. The…

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