With the process of urbanization and the establishment of the first states in the Near East during the Early Bronze Age a militaristic language developed in the region. The terms of this language are manifested in the creation of armies, development of military equipment, fortifications, battle tactics, formation of a command and control hierarchy, the bequeathing of a battle heritage, the construction of historic narratives, creation of heroic and sacrificial symbols, etc.

Within this scope it is clear that the term “language” is not limited to consonants and vowels and not even to words and sentences; rather it continues into the realm of concepts and the thought patterns, the ways of perception and appreciation of the environment and man. Its influence is so profound that it seemingly applies naturally to extensive fields and aspects.

The archaeological record allows us a glimpse at some of the tangible expressions of the militarist language that developed in the Levant in the Early Bronze Age, and the aim of the lecture is to offer such a glimpse through focusing on the fortifications in open space.

Numerous studies deal with the fortifications of cities and much has been written about their walls and the towers, the gates and approach ramps incorporated in them. In the lecture I will contend that these military architectural principals that were formulated in the cities in the Early Bronze Age occurred also beyond their domain, as part a much broader conscious language. An analysis from this view point makes it possible to understand sites which seem to be spread randomly in space as part of a systematic concept that seemingly lacks meaning. I will demonstrate my contention with a case study from the southern Judean Desert.