Session: #302

Theme & Session Format

Interpreting the archaeological record: artefacts, humans and landscapes
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Insights into the Inside. The Construction of Ramparts and Related Questions about a Key Element of Prehistoric Fortifications
Ramparts are the most common features of fortifications and often form a complex system in order to protect a defined inner space. Their construction is influenced by many factors: the geographical and topographical position, the chronology and duration of occupation, the function and purpose, as well as cultural relations and societal preconditions. The analysis and interpretation of archaeological results strongly depend on the methods and extent of the investigation. Next to traditional archaeological excavations and surveys, the spectrum of minimal-invasive methods for investigating ramparts have developed significantly in the past decades and can add a lot of new information, especially about the outline and extent and also their internal structure.
Under the assumption that ramparts and the often accompanying ditches contain key information about the construction, chronology, and function of the whole monument complex, the session aims to have ‚insights into the inside’, so a closer look at and into these crucial elements of fortifications and summarize and reflect the knowledge about ramparts.
In addition, there are many unsolved questions dealing with related archaeological, technological, and societal aspects: Is it possible to find common intercultural links in building traditions of fortifications? Who had the technical knowledge of constructing and maintaining ramparts and ditches? Which strategical aspects led to which type of fortification? Why were they built at all, which societal preconditions made them necessary?
Papers should present best practice examples of investigating systems of ramparts and ditches from all geographical regions of Europe, demonstrate results related to their construction, focus on the methodological aspects of investigation, or address related questions about the organization of the building processes and the underlying societal infrastructure.
fortifications, ramparts, ditches
Session associated with MERC:
Session associated with CIfA:
Session associated with SAfA:
Session associated with CAA:
Session associated with DGUF:
Session associated with other:
COMFORT (Community on Fortification Research)


Main organiser:
Timo Ibsen (Germany) 1
Sebastian Messal (Germany) 2
Romas Jarockis (Lithuania) 3
1. Zentrum für Baltische und Skandinavische Archäologie, Germany
2. Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, Germany
3. Baltijos regiono istorijos ir archeologijos institutas, Klaipeda University, Lithuania