This collection of 57 papers, the second volume from an impressive 2012 conference at the Acropolis Museum in Athens, augments a substantial companion work that focuses on theory and practice (S. Müth, P.I. Schneider, M. Schnelle, and P.D. De Staebler, eds., Ancient Fortifications: A Compendium of Theory and Practice. Fokus Fortifikation Studies 1 [Oxford 2015]). These two volumes boldly place in high profile the archaeological research now concerned with this once ancillary area. Leriche’s introductory overview points out that study of massive and ubiquitous city walls, the principal goal here, had long been subordinated to research centered on “inscriptions and masterpieces of art” (11). There have been many significant previous studies of fortifications (e.g., A.W. Lawrence, Fortified Trade-Posts: The English in West Africa, 1645–1822 [London 1969]; F. Winter, Greek Fortifications [London 1971]), but growing attention to these defensive constructions has now reached new heights. Fortifications to defend urban populations and resources are known from as early as the Uruk period of the third millennium B.C.E. This volume represents a major collaborative effort by scholars working with a wide range of approaches that reveal the extent of recent developments in fortification studies.
American Journal of Archaeology
Archaeological Institute of America
Becker, M. J. (2018). Book Review of Focus on Fortifications: New Research on Fortifications in the Ancient Mediterranean and the Near East, edited by Rune Frederiksen, Silke Müth, Peter I. Schneider, and Mike Schnelle. American Journal of Archaeology, 122(1) http://dx.doi.org/10.3764/ajaonline1221.becker