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versión On-line ISSN 1851-0027


PARCERO OUBINA, César. Measuring locational decisions: An assessment of the effective defensiveness of fortified archaeological sites. Comechingonia [online]. 2013, vol.17, n.2, pp.57-82. ISSN 1851-0027.

Settlement fortification is a widely extended feature in the archaeological record. The assessment of the meaning and function of fortifications is usually a key issue for the social and political characterization of the contexts where it occurs. This paper develops a GIS-based analytical procedure which aims at exploring and assess, in a measurable way, the locational and constructive decisions behind the fortification of settlement areas. At the onset, two main hypotheses are formed: the construction of settlement defenses is made according to the logic of monumentality, or to an actual logic of defense. Some measurable variables are explored that can be linked to either hypothesis: where and how defenses should be expected to occur within a specific settlement if they are aimed at a defensive function, and where and how if aimed at a monumental role. A case study, an Iron Age settlement in Galicia (NW Spain), illustrates the applicability of this procedure, and the way in which the variables considered are weighted. The paper focuses on the discussion of the foundations and practical details of an analytical procedure that is easily reproducible with any available GIS software, rather than on the exploration of the interpretative issues raised by the results.

Palabras clave : Fortified settlements; Locational analysis; GIS; Galicia.

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