An abatis, abattis, or abbattis is a field fortification consisting of an obstacle formed of the branches of trees laid in a row, with the sharpened tops directed outwards, towards the enemy. The trees are interlaced or tied with wire. Abatis are used alone or in combination with other obstacles. There is evidence it was used as early as the Roman Imperial period, as as the American Civil War. A classic use of an abatis was at the Battle of Carillon during the Seven Years' War; the 3,600 French troops defeated a massive army of 16,000 British and Colonial troops by fronting their defensive positions with an dense abatis. The British found the defences impossible to breach and were forced to withdraw with some 2,600 casualties. Other uses of an abatis can be found at the Battle of the Chateauguay, 26 October 1813, when 1,300 Canadian voltigeurs, under the command of Charles-Michel de Salaberry, defeated an American corps of 4,000 men, or at the Battle of Plattsburgh. An important weakness of abatis, in contrast to barbed wire, is.
If laced together with rope instead of wire, the rope can be quickly destroyed by such fires, after which the abatis can be pulled apart by grappling hooks thrown from a safe distance. An important advantage is that an improvised abatis can be formed in forested areas; this can be done by cutting down a row of trees so that they fall with their tops toward the enemy. An alternative is to place explosives so as to blow the trees down. Abatis are seen nowadays, having been replaced by wire obstacles. However, it may supplement when barbed wire is in short supply. A form of giant abatis, using whole trees instead of branches, can be used as an improvised anti-tank obstacle. Though used by modern conventional military units, abatises are still maintained in United States Army and Marine Corps training. Current US training instructs engineers or other constructors of such obstacles to fell trees, leaving a 1 or 2 yards stump, in such a manner as the trees fall interlocked pointing at a 45-degree angle towards the direction of approach of the enemy.
Furthermore, it is recommended that the trees remain connected to the stumps and the length of roadway covered be at least 80 yards. US military maps record an abatis by use of an inverted "V" with a short line extending from it to the right. Zasechnaya cherta Pamplin Historical Park & The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier includes large and authentic reproduction of abatis used in the U. S. Civil War
A castle is a type of fortified structure built during the Middle Ages by predominantly the nobility or royalty and by military orders. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble; this is distinct from a palace, not fortified. Usage of the term has varied over time and has been applied to structures as diverse as hill forts and country houses. Over the 900 years that castles were built, they took on a great many forms with many different features, although some, such as curtain walls and arrowslits, were commonplace. European-style castles originated in the 9th and 10th centuries, after the fall of the Carolingian Empire resulted in its territory being divided among individual lords and princes; these nobles built castles to control the area surrounding them and the castles were both offensive and defensive structures. Although their military origins are emphasised in castle studies, the structures served as centres of administration and symbols of power.
Urban castles were used to control the local populace and important travel routes, rural castles were situated near features that were integral to life in the community, such as mills, fertile land, or a water source. Many castles were built from earth and timber, but had their defences replaced by stone. Early castles exploited natural defences, lacking features such as towers and arrowslits and relying on a central keep. In the late 12th and early 13th centuries, a scientific approach to castle defence emerged; this led with an emphasis on flanking fire. Many new castles were polygonal or relied on concentric defence – several stages of defence within each other that could all function at the same time to maximise the castle's firepower; these changes in defence have been attributed to a mixture of castle technology from the Crusades, such as concentric fortification, inspiration from earlier defences, such as Roman forts. Not all the elements of castle architecture were military in nature, so that devices such as moats evolved from their original purpose of defence into symbols of power.
Some grand castles had long winding approaches intended to dominate their landscape. Although gunpowder was introduced to Europe in the 14th century, it did not affect castle building until the 15th century, when artillery became powerful enough to break through stone walls. While castles continued to be built well into the 16th century, new techniques to deal with improved cannon fire made them uncomfortable and undesirable places to live; as a result, true castles went into decline and were replaced by artillery forts with no role in civil administration, country houses that were indefensible. From the 18th century onwards, there was a renewed interest in castles with the construction of mock castles, part of a romantic revival of Gothic architecture, but they had no military purpose; the word castle is derived from the Latin word castellum, a diminutive of the word castrum, meaning "fortified place". The Old English castel, Old French castel or chastel, French château, Spanish castillo, Italian castello, a number of words in other languages derive from castellum.
The word castle was introduced into English shortly before the Norman Conquest to denote this type of building, new to England. In its simplest terms, the definition of a castle accepted amongst academics is "a private fortified residence"; this contrasts with earlier fortifications, such as Anglo-Saxon burhs and walled cities such as Constantinople and Antioch in the Middle East. Feudalism was the link between a lord and his vassal where, in return for military service and the expectation of loyalty, the lord would grant the vassal land. In the late 20th century, there was a trend to refine the definition of a castle by including the criterion of feudal ownership, thus tying castles to the medieval period. During the First Crusade, the Frankish armies encountered walled settlements and forts that they indiscriminately referred to as castles, but which would not be considered as such under the modern definition. Castles served a range of purposes, the most important of which were military and domestic.
As well as defensive structures, castles were offensive tools which could be used as a base of operations in enemy territory. Castles were established by Norman invaders of England for both defensive purposes and to pacify the country's inhabitants; as William the Conqueror advanced through England, he fortified key positions to secure the land he had taken. Between 1066 and 1087, he established 36 castles such as Warwick Castle, which he used to guard against rebellion in the English Midlands. Towards the end of the Middle Ages, castles tended to lose their military significance due to the advent of powerful cannons and permanent artillery fortifications. A castle could act as a stronghold and prison but was a place where a knight or lord could entertain his peers. Over time the aesthetics of the design became more important, as the castle's appearance and size began to refle
The rock castle of Neudahn, in the southwestern Palatine Forest in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, is located at the northern end of an elongated ridge near the town of Dahn. The heart of the castle is situated on one of the sandstone rock outcrops that are typical of the Dahner Felsenland region. Neudahn lies 2 kilometres northwest of Dahn, right of the River Lauter, known here in its upper reaches as the Wieslauter; the castle stands atop about 90 metres above the valley floor. The main castle rock is 310 metres above sea level, that of the lower ward reaches 290 metres. Below the castle the Moosbach stream, impounded in a small woog used to feed an old mill, empties into the Wieslauter; the name "Neudahn" is rather confusing, because the castle is older than Grafendahn Castle in the nearby group of three castles of Dahn, albeit more recent than Altdahn. Its location enabled it to protect and block the old road running through the Wieslauter valley, the course of, now used by the B 427 federal highway and the Wieslauter Railway.
The castle was built just before 1240 by order of the Bishop of Speyer, because from 1233 to 1236 the office was held by a certain Conrad IV of Dahn. The governing ministerialis was Henry of Dahn, recorded as Henry Mursel of Kropsberg, he was granted the castle from the outset as a heritable fief. His second name, like other heirs, indicates that there were family ties with the South Palatinate – Kropsburg and Burrweiler; the castles is first mentioned on 3 May 1285 as Burg Than, an assessment of the estate mentioned in the deed indicating that it must refer to Neudahn. P Within a hundred years of the castle being built, the Mursel family died out, its possession passed to the related Altdahn line. Razed during the Four Lords' War of 1438 and rebuilt, the site was again badly damaged during the German Peasants' War in 1525. Because, King Henry II of France stayed overnight at the castle in 1552, it must have been renovated before then. After the last lord of Dahn, Ludwig II died in 1603 in his castle at Burrweiler, Neudahn was returned to the Prince-Bishopric of Speyer.
From on the castle was used by the episcopal Amtmann as his headquarters until French troops destroyed it in 1689 at the start of the War of the Palatine Succession. Today the castle appears to visitors as it did in the renovation and extension phase in the period after 1525 and after the last destruction. Safety and restoration measures took place in the 1970s; the site is managed by the Generaldirektion Kulturelles Erbe Rheinland-Pfalz, Direktion Burgen, Schlösser, Altertümer, together with Berwartstein Castle, 10 kilometres away, is one of the best preserved castles in the southern Palatine Forest. Left of the place where the original gates were located, in the southeast, are the remains of a tower, 7 metres in diameter. From this tower, parts of a thick defensive wall runs westwards, before bending north. On the steep northern and northeastern side of the hillside the wall has disappeared, it led to the flanking tower at the northern end of the site. Of the oldest – late Hohenstaufen – castle on the vertically hewn, central rock outcrop, just under 20 metres high, the only surviving features are a cistern at the western end and the southern wall of the small palas with its window and door openings.
At the northwestern end of the main rock outcrop in the south was a late medieval domestic building and, west of that, a well. A plastered newel tower from the same period on the northwestern edge of the rock outcrop leads up to the upper ward; the actual entrance into the ground floor is, as on many castles not authentic and may have been made for modern visitors, which the date 1975 over the entrance suggests. It alsl lies outside the inner gate; the historic entrance is inside the gate at a higher level. The dominant image of the castle is the two four-storey 24 metre-high, battery towers on the opposite side, they date to the first half of the 16th century. The west tower measures about 7 metres in height, about 10 metres; the thickness of the walls is about 3 metres. Two embrasures on the southern battery tower have been ornately carved into the shape of lions' faces. On the continuation of the hill to the east-southeast the site was protected by a wedge-shaped bastion, a recognition feature of Neudahn.
Its shape was intended to prevent shells from striking the castle frontally. It protected the upper ward on the more gentle slope of the hill on that side; the bastion and the weapon towers show that, in the late Middle Ages, considerable modifications to the castle were carried out and the lords of the castle took account of the introduction of firearms and cannon. Marco Bollheimer, Felsenburgen im Burgenparadies Wasgau–Nordvogesen, Karlsruhe: Selbstverlag, pp. 60 , f, ISBN 978-3-9814506-0-6 Eckhard Braun: Pfälzische Burgen und Feuerwaffen. Meyer, Hauenstein, 1997, p. 467–482, ISBN 3-927891-07-X. Stefan Grathoff: Die Dahner Burgen. Alt-Dahn – Grafendahn – Tanstein. Führungsheft 21st edn. Burgen, Schlösser, Altertümer Rheinland Pfalz. Schnell und Steiner, Regensburg, 2003. ISBN 3-7954-1461-X. Alexander Thon:... wie eine unnahbare Zauberburg. Burgen in der Südpfalz. 2nd improved edition. Schnell und Steiner, Regensburg, 2005, pp. 112–117, ISBN 3795415705. Artist's impression by Wolfgang Braun
Ringforts, ring forts or ring fortresses are circular fortified settlements that were built during the Bronze age up to about the year 1000. They are found in Northern Europe in Ireland. There are many in South Wales and in Cornwall, where they are called rounds. Ringforts may be made of stone or earth. Earthen ringforts would have been marked by a circular rampart with a stakewall. Both stone and earthen ringforts would have had at least one building inside. In Irish language sources they are known by a number of names: ráth, caiseal, cathair and dún; the ráth and lios was an earthen ringfort. The caiseal and cathair was a stone ringfort; the term dún was used for any stronghold of importance, which may or may not be ring-shaped. In Ireland, over 40,000 sites have been identified as ringforts and it is thought that at least 50,000 ringforts existed on the island, they are common throughout the country, with a mean density of just over one ringfort within any area of 2 km2. It is that many have been destroyed by farming and urbanisation.
However, many hitherto unknown ringforts have been found thanks to early Ordnance Survey maps, aerial photography, the archaeological work that has accompanied road-building. In Cornwall and south Wales, enclosed settlements share many characteristics with their Irish counterparts, including the circular shape and souterrains, their continuing occupation into the early medieval period. Few Cornish examples have been archaeologically excavated, with the exception of Trethurgy Rounds. Hillforts are known from Scandinavia, of which nineteen can be found on the Swedish island of Öland alone; these hillforts are not to be confused with Viking ring fortresses, of which seven are known from Denmark and southern Sweden, all from around 980 in the Viking Age. The Viking forts all share a strikingly similar design and are collectively referred to as Trelleborgs, after the first excavated fortress of that type in 1936. All the Viking ring fortresses are believed to have been built within a short timeframe, during the reign of Harold Bluetooth, but for yet unknown military purposes.
They might have served as boot camps for Sweyn Forkbeard's men before his invasion of England in 1013. The debate on chronology is a result of the huge number of ringforts and the failure of any other form of settlement site to survive to modern times in any great quantity from the period before the Early Christian period or from Gaelic Ireland after the Anglo-Norman arrival. Three general theories mark the debate on the chronology of Irish ringforts. According to the authoritative New History of Ireland, "archaeologists are agreed that the vast bulk of them are the farm enclosures of the well-to-do of early medieval Ireland"; the theories that the ringfort either pre- or post-dates the Early Middle Ages in Ireland, are both based on the same premise, as is highlighted here by Tadhg O'Keefe in relation to the latter argument. The a priori case for attributing some ringforts to the Later Middle Ages... is based on the absence of any other settlement form of appropriate date in those landscapes.
In other words, if the Gaelic-Irish did not live in ringforts, where did they live? The conjecture that ringforts can be seen to have evolved from and be part of an Iron Age tradition has been expanded by Darren Limbert; this hypothesis is based on a number of re-interpretations of the available evidence, as well as concern over the available evidence. As only a small portion of ringforts have undergone total excavation, the fact that these excavations have not taken place on anything like a national level, the evidence is insufficient to place all ringforts and the origins of them within the Early Christian period. Limbert argues instead, that the ringfort should be seen in the context of a variety of similar developments in Britain and the European Continent in Iberia and Gaul. While conceding that most ringforts were built in the Early Christian period, he suggests a link between the arrival of Eóganachta dynasty in Munster c. 400 AD, the introduction of ringforts. In support of this he notes that: "The other major Eoganachta ringforts of Ballycatten and Garryduff, despite limited stratigraphic discernment, have produced artefacts of ambiguously early origins.
Their defensive nature... supports an intrusion of a Celtic warrior caste..." The similarity with South Welsh'raths' and Cornish'rounds' suggests a degree of cultural interaction between Western British and Irish populations, however differences in dates of occupation mean this cannot be confirmed. On the island of Öland, nineteen ringforts have been identified, including Eketorp, a site, excavated and that one may visit. Excavations are ongoing at Sandby borg, the site of a massacre in the 5th century A. D, it is possible that the Hill
A wagon fort is a mobile fortification made of wagons arranged into a rectangle, a circle or other shape and joined with each other, an improvised military camp. It is known as a laager. Ammianus Marcellinus, a Roman army officer and historian of the 4th century, describes a Roman army approaching "ad carraginem" as they approach a Gothic camp. Historians interpret this as a wagon-fort. Notable historical examples include Hussites, which called it vozová hradba, known under the German word Wagenburg, tabors in the armies of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Cossacks, the Laager of the settlers in South Africa. Similar, ad hoc, defensive formations were used in the United States, were called corrals; these were traditionally used by 19th century American settlers travelling to the West in convoys of Conestoga wagons. When faced with attack, such as by hostile Native American tribes, the travellers would form a circle out of their wagons, bringing the draft animals and women and children to the center of the circle.
The armed men would man the perimeter, the circled wagons serving to break up the enemy charge, to create a certain amount of concealment from observation and shelter from enemy firearms fire. They would slow down and separate any warriors who attempted to get past the wagons into the circle, making them easier to dispatch, although they never formed a perfect barricade as a true wall would; this tactic was popularly known as "circling up the wagons", survives into the modern day as an idiom describing a person or group preparing to defend themselves from attack or criticism. One of the earliest examples of using conjoined wagons as fortification is described in the Chinese historical record Book of Han. During the 119 BC Battle of Mobei of the Han–Xiongnu War, the famous Han general Wei Qing used armored wagons known as "Wu Gang Wagon" in ring formations to neutralise the Xiongnu's cavalry charges, before launching a counteroffensive which overran the nomads. In the 15th century, during the Hussite Wars, the Hussites developed tactics of using the tabors, called vozová hradba in Czech or Wagenburg by the Germans, as mobile fortifications.
When the Hussite army faced a numerically superior opponent, the Bohemians formed a square of the armed wagons, joined them with iron chains, defended the resulting fortification against charges of the enemy. Such a camp was easy to establish and invulnerable to enemy cavalry; the etymology of the word tabor may come from the Hussite fortress and modern day Czech city of Tábor, which itself is a name derived from biblical Jezreel mountain Tavor. The crew of each wagon consisted of 18 to 21 soldiers: 4 to 8 crossbowmen, 2 handgunners, 6 to 8 soldiers equipped with pikes or flails, 2 shield carriers and 2 drivers; the wagons would form a square, inside the square would be the cavalry. There were two principal stages of the battle using the wagon fort: counterattack; the defensive part would be a pounding of the enemy with artillery. The Hussite artillery was a primitive form of a howitzer, called in Czech a houfnice, from which the English word howitzer comes, they called their guns the Czech word píšťala, meaning that they were shaped like a pipe or a fife, from which the English word pistol is derived.
When the enemy would come close to the wagon fort and hand-gunners would come from inside the wagons and inflict more casualties on the enemy at close range. There would be stones stored in a pouch inside the wagons for throwing whenever the soldiers were out of ammunition. After this huge barrage, the enemy would be demoralized; the armies of the anti-Hussite crusaders were heavily armored knights, Hussite tactics were to disable the knight's horses so that the dismounted knights would be easier targets for the ranged men. Once the commander saw it fit, the second stage of battle would begin. Men with swords and polearms would come out and attack the weary enemy. Together with the infantry, the cavalry in the square would attack. At this point, the enemy would be eliminated or nearly so; the wagon fort's effect on Czech history was lost, but the Czechs would continue to use the wagon forts in conflicts. After the Hussite Wars, foreign powers such as the Hungarians and Poles who had confronted the destructive forces of Hussites, hired thousands of Czech mercenaries.
At the Battle of Varna in 1444, it is said that 600 Bohemian handgunners defended a wagon fortification. The Germans would use wagons for fortification, they would use much cheaper materials than the Hussites, they would have different wagons for the infantry and the artillery. The Russians used a type of movable fortress, called a guliai-gorod in the 16th century. Another use of this tactic would be similar to the infantry squares used by Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo and the South African laager; the wagon forts would form into squares. Whenever an enemy charged between two forts, marksmen from both of them would exploit the advantage and kill many of the enemy; the wagon fort was used by the crusading anti-Hussite armies at the Battle of Tachov. However, the anti-Hussite German forces, being inexperienced at this type of strategy, were defeated; the Hussite wagon fort would meet its demise at the Battle of Lipany, where the Utraquist faction of Hussites defeated the Taborite faction by getting the Taborites inside a wagon fort on a hill to charge at them by at first attacking retrea
Ancient history as a term refers to the aggregate of past events from the beginning of writing and recorded human history and extending as far as the post-classical history. The phrase may be used either to refer to the period of the academic discipline; the span of recorded history is 5,000 years, beginning with Sumerian Cuneiform script. Ancient History covers all continents inhabited by humans in the 3,000 BC – 500 AD period; the broad term Ancient History is not to be confused with Classical Antiquity. The term classical antiquity is used to refer to Western History in the Ancient Mediterranean from the beginning of recorded Greek history in 776 BC; this coincides with the traditional date of the Founding of Rome in 753 BC, the beginning of the history of ancient Rome, the beginning of the Archaic period in Ancient Greece. The academic term "history" is not to be confused with colloquial references to times past. History is fundamentally the study of the past through documents, can be either scientific or humanistic.
Although the ending date of ancient history is disputed, some Western scholars use the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD, the closure of the Platonic Academy in 529 AD, the death of the emperor Justinian I in 565 AD, the coming of Islam or the rise of Charlemagne as the end of ancient and Classical European history. Outside of Europe the 450-500 time frame for the end of ancient times has had difficulty as a transition date from Ancient to Post-Classical times. During the time period of'Ancient History', starting from 3000 BC world population was exponentially increasing due to the Neolithic Revolution, in full progress. According to HYDE estimates from the Netherlands world population increased exponentially in this period. In 10,000 BC in Prehistory world population had stood at 2 million, rising to 45 million by 3,000 BC. By the rise of the Iron Age in 1,000 BC that population had risen to 72 million. By the end of the period in 500 AD world population stood at 209 million. In 3,500 years, world population increased by 100 times.
Historians have two major avenues which they take to better understand the ancient world: archaeology and the study of source texts. Primary sources are those sources closest to the origin of the idea under study. Primary sources have been distinguished from secondary sources, which cite, comment on, or build upon primary sources. Archaeology is the excavation and study of artifacts in an effort to interpret and reconstruct past human behavior. Archaeologists excavate the ruins of ancient cities looking for clues as to how the people of the time period lived; some important discoveries by archaeologists studying ancient history include: The Egyptian pyramids: giant tombs built by the ancient Egyptians beginning about 2600 BC as the final resting places of their royalty. The study of the ancient cities of Harappa, Mohenjo-daro, Lothal in India; the city of Pompeii: an ancient Roman city preserved by the eruption of a volcano in AD 79. Its state of preservation is so great that it is a valuable window into Roman culture and provided insight into the cultures of the Etruscans and the Samnites.
The Terracotta Army: the mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor in ancient China. The discovery of Knossos by Minos Kalokairinos and Sir Arthur Evans; the discovery of Troy by Heinrich Schliemann. Most of what is known of the ancient world comes from the accounts of antiquity's own historians. Although it is important to take into account the bias of each ancient author, their accounts are the basis for our understanding of the ancient past; some of the more notable ancient writers include Herodotus, Arrian, Polybius, Sima Qian, Livy, Josephus and Tacitus. A fundamental difficulty of studying ancient history is that recorded histories cannot document the entirety of human events, only a fraction of those documents have survived into the present day. Furthermore, the reliability of the information obtained from these surviving records must be considered. Few people were capable of writing histories, as literacy was not widespread in any culture until long after the end of ancient history; the earliest known systematic historical thought emerged in ancient Greece, beginning with Herodotus of Halicarnassus.
Thucydides eliminated divine causality in his account of the war between Athens and Sparta, establishing a rationalistic element which set a precedent for subsequent Western historical writings. He was the first to distinguish between cause and immediate origins of an event; the Roman Empire was an ancient culture with a high literacy rate, but many works by its most read historians are lost. For example, Livy, a Roman historian who lived in the 1st century BC, wrote a history of Rome called Ab Urbe Condita in 144 volumes. Indeed, only a minority of the work of any major Roman historian has survived. Click the above link to find a listed timeline that provides an overview for Ancient History, its context ranges from 3200 BC to 400 AD. Prehistory is the period before written history; the early human migrations in the Lower Paleolithic saw Homo erectus spread across Eurasia 1.8 million years ago. The controlled use of fire occurred 800,000 years ago in the Middle Paleolithic. 250,000 years ago, Homo sapiens emerged in Africa.
60–70,000 years ago, Homo sapiens migrated out of Africa along a coastal route to South and So
A fortification is a military construction or building designed for the defense of territories in warfare, is used to solidify rule in a region during peacetime. The term is derived from the Latin fortis and facere. From early history to modern times, walls have been necessary for cities to survive in an ever-changing world of invasion and conquest; some settlements in the Indus Valley Civilization were the first small cities to be fortified. In ancient Greece, large stone walls had been built in Mycenaean Greece, such as the ancient site of Mycenae. A Greek phrourion was a fortified collection of buildings used as a military garrison, is the equivalent of the Roman castellum or English fortress; these constructions served the purpose of a watch tower, to guard certain roads and lands that might threaten the kingdom. Though smaller than a real fortress, they acted as a border guard rather than a real strongpoint to watch and maintain the border; the art of setting out a military camp or constructing a fortification traditionally has been called "castrametation" since the time of the Roman legions.
Fortification is divided into two branches: permanent fortification and field fortification. There is an intermediate branch known as semi-permanent fortification. Castles are fortifications which are regarded as being distinct from the generic fort or fortress in that they are a residence of a monarch or noble and command a specific defensive territory. Roman forts and hill forts were the main antecedents of castles in Europe, which emerged in the 9th century in the Carolingian Empire; the Early Middle Ages saw the creation of some towns built around castles. Medieval-style fortifications were made obsolete by the arrival of cannons in the 14th century. Fortifications in the age of black powder evolved into much lower structures with greater use of ditches and earth ramparts that would absorb and disperse the energy of cannon fire. Walls exposed to direct cannon fire were vulnerable, so the walls were sunk into ditches fronted by earth slopes to improve protection; the arrival of explosive shells in the 19th century led to yet another stage in the evolution of fortification.
Star forts did not fare well against the effects of high explosive, the intricate arrangements of bastions, flanking batteries and the constructed lines of fire for the defending cannon could be disrupted by explosive shells. Steel-and-concrete fortifications were common during the early 20th centuries; however the advances in modern warfare since World War I have made large-scale fortifications obsolete in most situations. Demilitarized zones along borders are arguably another type of fortification, although a passive kind, providing a buffer between hostile militaries. Many US military installations are known as forts. Indeed, during the pioneering era of North America, many outposts on the frontiers non-military outposts, were referred to generically as forts. Larger military installations may be called fortresses; the word fortification can refer to the practice of improving an area's defence with defensive works. City walls are fortifications but are not called fortresses; the art of setting out a military camp or constructing a fortification traditionally has been called castrametation since the time of the Roman legions.
The art/science of laying siege to a fortification and of destroying it is called siegecraft or siege warfare and is formally known as poliorcetics. In some texts this latter term applies to the art of building a fortification. Fortification is divided into two branches: permanent fortification and field fortification. Permanent fortifications are erected at leisure, with all the resources that a state can supply of constructive and mechanical skill, are built of enduring materials. Field fortifications—for example breastworks—and known as fieldworks or earthworks, are extemporized by troops in the field assisted by such local labour and tools as may be procurable and with materials that do not require much preparation, such as earth and light timber, or sandbags. An example of field fortification was the construction of Fort Necessity by George Washington in 1754. There is an intermediate branch known as semi-permanent fortification; this is employed when in the course of a campaign it becomes desirable to protect some locality with the best imitation of permanent defences that can be made in a short time, ample resources and skilled civilian labour being available.
An example of this is the construction of Roman forts in England and in other Roman territories where camps were set up with the intention of staying for some time, but not permanently. Castles are fortifications which are regarded as being distinct from the generic fort or fortress in that it describes a residence of a monarch or noble and commands a specific defensive territory. An example of this is the massive medieval castle of Carcassonne. From early history to modern times, walls have been a necessity for many cities. In Bulgaria, near the town of Provadia a walled fortified settlement today called Solnitsata starting from 4700 BC had a diameter of about 300 feet, was home to 350 people living in two-storey houses, was encircled by a fortified wall; the huge walls around the settlement, which were built tall and with stone blocks which are 6 feet high and 4.5 feet thick, make it one of the earliest walled settlements in Europe but it is younger than the walled town of Sesklo in Greece from 6800 BC.
Uruk in ancient Su