Cackwell did not necessarily focus on how the phalanx but he decided to focus on how the phalanx worked together when it came to battles. He believed that the phalanx had 3 phases as it made their attack.
First Phase: the phalanx advanced with solid lines towards the enemy known as pyknosis and each man would occupy 3 feet.
Second phase: once the hoplites made contact with the enemy there was hand to hand combat and the line spread to 6 ft per man.
Third Phase: There was shoving, “othismos” with overlapping shields and each man is now has a spacing of about 1.5 feet.
He has based his theory on how the phalanx works from the Chigi Vase. Yet he makes it unclear on how they actually functioned together at each moment of the battle. Cackwell believes that there was someone who told them what to do.