From the earliest evidence of human aggression to the mordern era of sophisticated warfare, this book covers the archaeological aspects of war in the landscape using a multi-period thematic approach incorporating worldwide material. The book discusses the evidence for warfare from Ancient Sumeria to the fall of the Roman Empire in the west and then concentrates on the form and types of defences adopted by different cultures and communities from the level of family projection up to that of national defence, using the archaeology of Britain as a major source of evidence. Drawing on a wide variety of research including excavated evidence, historical sources and in some cases oral testimony, the authors analyse the importance of archaeology as a took for interpretation and take a close look at the influence of terrain in some specially chosen military campaigns across the globe.
The patterns of warfare which repeat themselves in the forms of arms races and technological advances from prehistory to the present are examined in terms of the cycles of aggressive and defensive measures, and case studies are used to exemplify how and why territorial frontiers were held or lost in different periods. Both authors have been involved in teaching historical and archaeological material at the University of Surrey on a Continuing Education degree course as well as undertaking their own research in the field. Paul Hill, formerly curator at Kingston Museum in Surrey, has a background of Anglo-Saxon weapongs and warfare and Julie Wileman has been researching into prehistoric warfare at UCL and has worked as Assistant Director and Finds Officer at a number of archaeological sites in Surrey.