Violent events, beginning with skirmishes between hunters up to world wars, have accompanied man since the dawn of humanity. Nevertheless, proper and methodic archaeological research aimed at studying the physical evidence which violent events left in their wake outside of settlement sites (‘battlefields’ or warfare sites) only began in the 1980’s in the United States. In the 1990’s similar research methods were also initiated in Britain and today there are research institutes, which from their inception, were established for the purpose of properly studying archaeological battle sites.

In this lecture I will briefly review the history of the study of battle sites that were condcuted in the open field. Indeed, the siege and subjugation occurrences of settlement sites are also included within the framework of the ‘archaeology of warfare’; however, the way research treats them beginning with the start of the first scientific excavations at settlement sites (see Maiden Castle for example) and the methodology utilized in the study of them is different than that required in investigating open battle sites.

I will review the principal methods employed in the practice of studying battle sites and I will present a number of examples of battle sites, such as the Little Big Horn (USA) and Tuton (Britain).
Moreover, the advantages and disadvantages of the different research methods practiced in the field will be examined while emphasizing the new information that can be derived from field work.
I will consider the theoretical aspects, the most important of which is viewing the battle field as a separate and

independent entity in the mirror of post-processual archaeology and finally I will raise the question for discussion, “Is it possible to study ancient battle sites in the Land of Israel, and if so, where and what is the scientific, practical and legal significance”?