A moat is a deep, broad ditch, either dry or filled with water, dug and surrounds a castle, building or town to provide it with a preliminary line of defence. In some places moats evolved into more extensive water defences, including natural or artificial lakes and sluices. In older fortifications, such as hillforts, they are referred to as ditches, although the function is similar. In periods, moats or water defences may be ornamental, they could act as a sewer. Some of the earliest evidence of moats has been uncovered around ancient Egyptian castles. One example is at a castle excavated in Nubia. Other evidence of ancient moats is found in the ruins of Babylon, in reliefs from ancient Egypt and other cultures in the region. Evidence of early moats around settlements has been discovered in many archaeological sites throughout Southeast Asia, including Noen U-Loke, Ban Non Khrua Chut, Ban Makham Thae and Ban Non Wat; the use of the moats could have been either for agriculture purposes. Moats were excavated around castles and other fortifications as part of the defensive system as an obstacle outside the walls.
In suitable locations they might be filled with water. A moat made access to the walls difficult for siege weapons, such as siege towers and battering rams, which needed to be brought up against a wall to be effective. A water-filled moat made the practice of mining, digging tunnels under the castles in order to effect a collapse of the defences difficult as well. Segmented moats have one section filled with water. Dry moats cut across the narrow part of a spur or peninsula are called neck ditches. Moats separating different elements of a castle, such as the inner and outer wards are cross ditches; the word adapted in Middle English from the Old French motte "mound, hillock" and was first applied to the central mound on which a castle was erected, came to be applied to the excavated ring, a "dry moat". The shared derivation implies that the two features were related and constructed at the same time; the term moat is applied to natural formations reminiscent of the artificial structure, to similar modern architectural features.
With the introduction of siege artillery, a new style of fortification emerged in the 16th century using low walls and projecting strong points called bastions, known as the trace italienne. The walls were further protected from infantry attack by wet or dry moats, sometimes in elaborate systems; when this style of fortification was superseded by lines of polygonal forts in the mid-19th century, moats continued to be used for close protection. The Walls of Benin were a combination of ramparts and moats, called Iya, used as a defense of the capital Benin City in present-day Edo State of Nigeria, it was considered the largest man-made structure lengthwise, second only to the Great Wall of China and the largest earthwork in the world. With more recent work by Patrick Darling, it has been established as the largest man-made structure in the world, larger than Sungbo's Eredo in Nigeria, it enclosed 6,500 km2 of community lands. Its length was over 16,000 km of earth boundaries, it was estimated that earliest construction continued into the mid-15th century.
The walls are built of a dike structure. The Benin Walls were ravaged by the British in 1897. Scattered pieces of the walls remain in Edo, with material being used by the locals for building purposes; the walls continue to be torn down for real estate developments. The Walls of Benin City were the world's largest man-made structure. Fred Pearce wrote in New Scientist: "They extend for some 16,000 kilometres in all, in a mosaic of more than 500 interconnected settlement boundaries, they were all dug by the Edo people. In all, they are four times longer than the Great Wall of China, consumed a hundred times more material than the Great Pyramid of Cheops, they took an estimated 150 million hours of digging to construct, are the largest single archaeological phenomenon on the planet." Japanese castles have elaborate moats, sometimes with many moats laid out in concentric circles around the castle and a host of different patterns engineered around the landscape. Japanese castles will have up to three of these concentric moats.
The outer moat of Japanese castles protects other support buildings in addition to the castle. As many Japanese castles have been a central part of their respective city, the moats have provided a vital waterway to the city. In modern times, the moat system of the Tokyo Imperial Palace comprises a active body of water, hosting everything from rental boats and fishing ponds to restaurants. Most modern Japanese castles have moats filled with water, but castles in the feudal period more had'dry moats' karabori, a trench. A tatebori is a dry moat. A unejo tatebori is a series of parallel trenches running up the sides of the excavated mountain, the earthen wall, called doi, was an outer wall made of earth dug out from a moat. Today, it is common for mountain Japanese castles to have dry moats. A mizubori is a moat filled with water. Moats were used in the Forbidden City and Xi'an in China; the only moat fort b
Laura Oldfield Ford is a British artist and psychogeographer. Her work, in ballpoint pen, acrylic paint and spray paint, is politically motivated and focuses on British urban areas. Oldfield Ford publishes a blog entitled Savage Messiah, the name of the zine she published from 2005 to 2009. Oldfield Ford was born in Yorkshire in 1973 and grew up in Halifax, West Yorkshire in a community hit by the decline of the textile industry. In Leeds and in London, she became involved in the punk and squatting scenes and produced zines and posters influenced by Raymond Pettibon, Linder Sterling and Jon Savage, she took her Bachelor of Arts at the Slade School of Fine Art and her Master of Arts at the Royal College of Art. At the RCA's graduation show in 2007 she exhibited a four-section painting depicting herself in each panel against a backdrop of urban chaos. Savage Messiah, which takes its name from H. S. Ede's biography of the French sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, was self-published from 2005 to 2009.
Each issue focuses on a different London postcode. Savage Messiah uses the Situationist technique of the dérive: "urban drifts", or walks, during which Oldfield Ford collected images which were placed alongside both original and found texts, with the purpose of describing places and events. In 2008 Owen Hatherley named Savage Messiah 10: Abandoned London as one of his "books of the year", describing it as "an oneiric vision of a depopulated, post-catastrophe capital, pieced together from snatched conversations and reminiscences, set in a landscape of the labyrinthine ruins of 1960s architecture and today's negative-equity banlieue."The entirety of Savage Messiah was published in book form by Verso Books in September 2011. Reviewing the book for The Guardian, Iain Sinclair commented: "Collided into a great block, the catalogue of urban rambles takes on a new identity as a fractured novel of the city" and praised Oldfield Ford's "authentic gifts as a recorder and mapper of terrain." Summing up Savage Messiah, Sinclair wrote: "In the end, it's about walking as a way of writing, recomposing London by experiencing its secret signs and obstacles."
In his review for Eye, Rick Poynor praised her "acutely observant" writing and "assertively linear style of drawing". In a 2013 review for the American Book Review, Sukhdev Sandhu described the Verso publication as an example of "invisible literature" and "avant-pulp psychogeography" able "to rekindle erased histories of popular dissent from the 1970s to the 1990s", one relevant to "a new and endless age of austerity". In 2018 Oldfield Ford described Savage Messiah as "a series of stories, it was about transience and impermanence, but about the bonds that form in those moments: kinship and love." She described her subsequent work as a continuation of the same project. From January until March 2009, a collection of her work entitled London 2013, Drifting Through the Ruins, including all ten issues of Savage Messiah, was featured in London's Hales Gallery. Oldfield Ford was one of three artists whose work was exhibited as part of Slump City at SPACE in London in June 2009. Another exhibition, Britannia 2013–1981 ran in Hatfield from November 2009 until January 2010.
In February 2011, Oldfield Ford's work was on display in Bristol as a part of Poster Sites, a project commissioned by Arnolfini. She created 11 posters based on dérives in the city. In 2011, her work was featured in Orbitecture, an exhibition at the Grundy Art Gallery in Blackpool. In 2012 her work was exhibited... at The New Art Gallery in Walsall. In 2012, work by Oldfield Ford inspired by El Raval and protests in Barcelona were featured in Desire Lines at the Espai Cultural Caja Madrid in Barcelona. In 2014 Oldfield Ford's work was featured in Soft Estate at The Bluecoat in Liverpool; the same year, her work was included in Ruin Lust at the Tate Britain. That year a solo exhibition of paintings and collaged drawings entitled Seroxat, Smirnoff, THC ran at the Stanley Picker Gallery in Surbiton. In 2017 Oldfield Ford's solo exhibition Alpha/Isis/Eden ran at The Showroom in London; the exhibition focused on the effects of urban regeneration in the neighbourhood surrounding the gallery near Edgware Road in central London, included audio recordings of the area.
Skye Sherwin of The Guardian writes that Oldfield Ford's work "focuses on areas haunted by an urban dispossessed, which regeneration seeks to concrete over: city wastelands where fortress-like old tower-blocks rise, with their Escher-like walkways and bleak'recreational' open spaces." These include the East End of London and the new towns of Harlow and Stevenage. Her work on the East End is critical of the 2012 Summer Olympics, held in London, the associated development program, in particular the regeneration process surrounding the Olympic Park, her work engages with architecture. In a 2009 interview Oldfield Ford reiterated the centrality of a critique of urban regeneration, expressed an interest in brutalist architecture (referring to Broadwater Farm in Tottenham and Robin Hood Gardens in Poplar. Oldfield Ford has argued that brutalism is significant due to "the collective ideals inherent in it: the rethinking and radical reshaping of public space, the idea of cities being conducive t
WarpWar, a two-player game published in 1977, was the fourth MicroGame published by games company Metagaming Concepts, was designed by company president Howard M. Thompson. WarpWar is a game of interstellar combat. Players design starships, intermixing standard components, send their starships to various systems. If two opposing ships occupy the same star system combat begins. Players write orders for each ship involved, allocating power to various systems, as well as basic combat tactics such as Attack, Dodge or Retreat. Several scenarios for set-up are given, the main difference being the number of build points that are given to each player to start the scenario; the game components are a 14" x 8" thin cardstock counters and an 18-page rulebook. In the August 1978 edition of Dragon, Tony Watson liked the game, saying, "Warp War is a interesting game, full of fascinating ideas and concepts; the play doesn't become stereotyped as tactics used always change. Players are allowed to come up with their own ideas of sound ship design and enjoy the satisfaction of outwitting their opponents on the combat matrix."