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Greek City Walls of the Archaic Period, 900–480 BC$
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Rune Frederiksen

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199578122

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199578122.001.0001

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The Archaeology of City Walls

The Archaeology of City Walls

(p.50) 5. The Archaeology of City Walls
Greek City Walls of the Archaic Period, 900–480 BC

Rune Frederiksen

Oxford University Press

This chapter deals with the issue of identifying the nature of city walls, particularly the difficulties in classifying those that are poorly preserved. Ancient Greek cities normally establish initial settlements on hilltops, and then move towards hillsides and plains below, forming larger settlements. This shows a chronological continuity within the components of the walls, as well as a significant contrast in their construction and location. The city wall and hilltop fortification wall comprise the two main types of urban fortification architecture. In addition, this chapter elaborates on the elements of the wall consisting of the gates, towers and bastions, along with evidence of additional installations. The existence of at least one of those elements is enough for a wall to be distinguished as a fortification wall. However, if the remains are indefinable then it is necessary to conduct a study of the wall itself, whether through the basis of construction, its topography, or its context.

Keywords:   fortification architecture, Greek settlements, city walls, hilltop fortification wall, city gate, fortification tower, bastions

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