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In the later prehistoric British Isles, the construction of monumental architecture shifts signicantly, to the ‚domestic’ sphere of dwellings and settlements. Until the Middle Bronze Age, it was mainly ‘ritual’ sites, like stone and timber circles, and ‘communal’ burial sites, that were monumentalised, while settlements and domestic buildings seem to have hardly been elaborated. From the late Bronze Age onwards, settlements – including homesteads – are the focus of monumental enclosure and houses become much more substantial, and probably also much more elaborate. The ‘enclosed homesteads’ of later insular prehistory have a last heyday in the so-called ‘ringforts’ of Early Medieval Ireland. It is from that time and place that we have a rich indigenous tradition, which not only describes these sites and how they were outfitted, but also demonstrates that their architecture and appearance was closely linked to the social status of its inhabitants.


  • ARCHAEOLOGY, Iron Age, Early Medieval, Britain, Ireland, Settlement, Dwelling, Society, Socio-legal studies, Europe
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)89-110
Number of pages21
JournalMitteilungen der Anthropologischen Gesellschaft Wien
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2016

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