Urban experiences in early Iron Age Europe: Central places and social complexity

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Abstract

In recent years, both regional approaches in urban studies and the investigation of processes of centralisation have contributed fundamentally to a reassessment of our understanding of Iron Age urbanisation in Central Europe. Thanks to large-scale research projects, nowadays it is possible to assert that the term ‘urban’ already applies to some of the so-called Fürstensitze of the Late Hallstatt and Early La Tène periods. In some cases these centres of power could cover an area of several dozen or even more than 100 hectares, and are testimony to a process of centralisation that led to the establishment of the first urban and proto-urban settlements in the history of Central Europe. However, this early process of centralisation and urbanisation was followed by a phase of decentralisation that set in at different times in different areas, and can be seen as a specific instance of the non-linear character of events.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-32
Number of pages22
JournalContributions in New World Archaeology
Volume9
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • urbanism
  • Fürstensitze
  • Central Europe
  • Iron Age
  • complexity

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