Middle Iron Age warfare of the hillfort dominated zone c.400 BC to c.150 BC
Studies of Iron Age warfare in Britain are dominated by the overarching model of 'Celtic-ness'. Despite the fact that the uncritical application of Classical writings to the Iron Age has been under assault for some time, warfare as a construct has not yet been subjected to such scrutiny. A new model for Iron Age warfare that reflects not only this period's regionalisation but also breaks away from simple ethno-historical comparisons is overdue. By undertaking to produce a model for Middle Iron Age warfare of the HillfortDominated Zone, where the archaeological evidence is extensive, yet seemingly contradictory, it is hoped that not only will this area's regionalisationbe demonstrated but also its difference with other areas will be drawn intosharper focus. The evidence for warfare in the Middle Iron Age of the Hillfort Dominated Zone can be broken down into two complementary fields: weaponry and settlement. Hillforts will be studied as part of an overall settlement pattern and not in isolation. Studies of prehistoric weaponry tend either to be typological or assume that the changes in use are the result of improved mechanicalefficiency. The exploration of the social significance of weaponry using specific ethnographic analogy is an attempt to show the flawed nature of this approach, whilst providing a social context for the types of weapons recovered from the hillfort dominated zone. In order to attempt to understand the potential relationship between hillfort defences and the use of the sling (often assumed within the current literature),experimental work has been carried out and the results applied to a series of surveyed hillforts (twenty in total). The results have potentially significant implications relating to the possibility of assailing a hillfort during the Middle Iron Age and thus the social relationships of these monuments. Complementary mathematical modelling has been undertaken for the spear, in order to understand more fully its potential social significance.