History of Fences

The history of fences probably dates back to ancient days of prehistoric man. But before delving into the hsitory it is worthwhile considering the definition of a fence. A fence is a type of design technology( as it is designed to solve a particular problem) and realised through  building technology as a kind of fortification.


A Boma is an enclosure made with a fence like structure. image:wikipedia

When we think of fence it is usually of a type of barrier that provides a basic kind of barrier yet it often flexible and light weight, being able to see through the fence is important also, as distinct from a wall. It can be thought of as a type of protective technology.

An example of an ancient fence structure can be found at Buster Ancient Farm in the UK see http://www.butser.org.uk/iaff_hcc.html

Because of the often semi-temporary nature of fences, typically made out of wood, the archaeological evidence of fences is often difficult to spot.

Some fences would have been grown from hedges or plantings of trees.


An agricultural fence. image: R.Conan-Davies

One of the major early uses of fences would have been in the development of the domestication of animals. Being able to keep animals enclosed in an area would have been important for early economic activity. Agricultural fences would have been a significant technological development from a more hunter gatherer society][

References sources:

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fence
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agricultural_fencing