The archaeological study of patterns of warfare and political development requires a large-scale regional perspective as well as the investigation of individual sites. The fieldwork that forms the basis of this study was designed to encompass a large enough region to gain a meaningful grasp of warfare and polity by relying on an innovative methodology: the examination of the design, use, and distribution of fortified sites as clues to the political landscape. This chapter discusses the ways in which fortifications can illuminate our understanding of past social formations. The regional distribution of fortifications is especially revealing about the scale and political centralization of polities. Aspects of individual fort design shed light on the scale of war parties, the intensity of warfare, and other factors. These considerations formed the foundation of a field research design systematically focused on pukaras within a large swath of Colla territory.
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