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Hill-top enclosures and defended settlements are two features of the contemporary settlement pattern of Wessex. Others include the large and apparently open settlements typiﬁed by All Cannings Cross and Potterne, Wilts., while the ditch-enclosed farmstead of Old Down Farm, Hants, represents another type. Our so-called earliest ‘hillforts’ must then be seen as only one element in a varied pattern representing a complex social hierarchy.