But I think they were much more complicated than just being

Why prehistoric Welsh people built so many forts on hills

Fiona Gale, archaeologist for Denbighshire County who spearheaded the Heather and Hillforts project, stops on the dirt path. She points cheap moncler coats to a bump in the land next to us. “Presumably, there would have been a gate here, and a palisade like fence all the way around,” she says. The other roll of land, just a moncler outlet jackets few feet away? “A guard chamber.”

moncler outlet online These features are far from incidental. They are man made, built around 3,000 to 2,500 years ago. moncler outlet online

But nobody knows what these structures, dubbed “hillforts”, were used for. Were they for defence, as their name suggests? Settlement? Storing grain? Showing off?

View image of The Clwyddian Range (Credit: summonedbyfells, CC by 2.0)

Take that “guard chamber”. It could indeed have been a place where a military guard stood to protect the enclosure. But it could also have Moncler Outlet been a shrine: a place for those entering or leaving to pray or give thanks.

moncler outlet In an area that measures some 150 square miles (389 sq km), there are about 30 hillforts moncler outlet

“The language of these things was established in the early 20th Century when we were fighting a lot of wars: hillforts, guard chambers,” Gale says, a little ruefully. “We’re stuck with these terms. But I think they were much more complicated than just being military or defensive.”

moncler outlet store Enclosing an moncler sale area of 21 hectares (51.8 acres), Penycloddiau is moncler outlet store the biggest hillfort in northern Wales moncler outlet store

The wall that surrounds it, now buried beneath dirt, heather and moncler outlet online gorse, was some 13ft (4m) thick. Stone faced on the inside and the outside, with a rock cut ditch below and likely with timbers on top, it would have towered an imposing 33 39ft (10 12m) tall.

The structure would have been visible for miles. And it would have taken a great deal of work and organisation to build. The timber alone needed would have required around 170 hectares (420 acres) of woodland.

buy moncler jackets Yet as extraordinary as it is, Penycloddiau is hardly the only hillfort in this area or in Britain. buy moncler jackets

View image of Penycloddiau, as seen from the air (Credit: Fiona Gale)

moncler mens jackets Similar hilltop enclosures are particularly common in southern England, less so in Wales or Scotland. But this section of Wales is thick with them. In an area that measures some 150 square miles (389 sq km), there are about 30 hillforts. moncler mens jackets

moncler outlet sale It would be very difficult for a group to defend a hillfort moncler outlet sale

cheap moncler coats This adds to their mystery. It moncler sale outlet is a surprising number for a region that, at the time, did not have a particularly dense population. cheap moncler coats

So why were they built at all?

cheap moncler outlet The name hillfort, of course, suggests the enclosures were built for a military purpose. But there are problems moncler factory outlet with the simplicity of this explanation. cheap moncler outlet

cheap moncler sale View image of Reconstruction of a Bronze Age village, Wales (Credit: Anthony Morgan/Alamy Stock Photo) cheap moncler sale

“It would be very difficult for a group to defend a hillfort, moncler jacket sale especially one the size of Penycloddiau,” says University of Oxford archaeologist Gary Lock, who is leading an excavation at the nearby Moel y Gaer hillfort. “How many hundreds and hundreds of people would you need to defend that? Then, at the same time, you need another great group of people attacking it. There just isn’t that level of population.”

Warfare in small scale societies tends to be heavily ritualised, full of rules and conventions

There are other flaws with the idea, too. For example, few of the area’s forts have their own water source.

monlcer down jackets Meanwhile, hardly any weapons have been found. This is true for weapons of that time in general it is much more common to find weapons from the previous era, the Bronze https://www.moncler-jacket-outlet.com Age. monlcer down jackets

cheap moncler jackets One reason might be that, by this period, cheap moncler jackets sale the preferred weapon seemed to have been slingshot stones. These have been found in hillforts, but generally not in sufficient numbers to suggest a full scale battle. cheap moncler jackets

Still, the idea that an organised group would bring a cartload of stones up to an enemy hillfort seems a little absurd.

moncler sale View image of A reconstruction of the Moel Arthur hillfort (Credit: Tim Morgan) moncler sale

Ian Armit of the University of Bradford has tried to figure moncler outlet sale out how defensive these hillforts really were, by looking at more recent structures in other cultures.

At the end of the Bronze Age, this elaborate system of wealth and trade collapsed

moncler sale outlet He has found that warfare in small scale societies tends to be heavily ritualised, full of rules and conventions. Siege warfare “is not something that often happens”, he says. “It’s seen as cowardly or unfair.” moncler sale outlet

In that context, even a lack of water can be explained. In fact, Armit points out, when Julius Caesar was attacking Iron Age hillforts in Gaul, the Roman general wrote about how his soldiers would attack the enemy when they left their forts to get water.

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