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A GIS-based Analysis of Hillfort Location and Morphology

Jessica Murray
Publication Year:
244 pages, Illustrated throughout in colour and black and white. 202 figures (185 in colour).
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Moving away from the highly constrained, purely humanistic and empirical studies of hillfort location and morphology of the past, this book presents a multi-regional GIS-based analysis of the form and siting of several groups of hillforts across Britain. The location and morphology of hillforts in Ceredigion, Dartmoor, Aberdeenshire, The Gower and Warminster are investigated through a combination of GIS-based analysis and field visits. An innovative approach of integrating movement with visibility is employed to investigate whether movement, visibility and topography influenced the location and morphology of these hillforts. This investigation emphasises the complexity of hillforts as a class of site. It demonstrates that GIS-based analysis, when combined with fieldwork, can effectively be applied to the investigation of hillfort location and form, paving the way for future research agendas within hillforts and beyond.

Jessica Murray was awarded an AHRC-funded DPhil as part of the Atlas of Hillforts in Britain and Ireland project; this book presents a revised version of the results of her thesis. She is currently an Honorary Research Associate at the University of Chester, where she is developing GIS-based methodologies to investigate site location and form.

‘Murray’s monograph is a thorough study, enlivened by numerous innovative colour illustrations which apply welcome scientific and technological rigour to the concepts of hillfort monumentality and non-functional approaches to hillfort architecture and design.’ Toby Driver, Archaeologia Cambrensis, Vol 169, 2020

‘To the best of my knowledge this is the first time that GIS analysis of the relationship between hillfort location and morphology has been systematically applied in Britain or elsewhere in Europe.’ Dennis Harding, Abercromby Professor of Archaeology (Emeritus), University of Edinburgh.

‘By challenging previous hypotheses it usefully moves the debate forwards. … A welcome addition to the current literature on both hillfort studies and on applied GIS in archaeology.’ Dr Henry Chapman, University of Birmingham

Introduction (B644_9781407316079_Introduction.pdf, 286 Kb) [Download]

Table of Contents (B644_9781407316079_ToC.pdf, 147 Kb) [Download]