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
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 hillfort is a type of earthworks used as a fortified refuge or defended settlement, located to exploit a rise in elevation for defensive advantage. They are European and of the Bronze and Iron Ages; some were used in the post-Roman period. The fortification follows the contours of a hill, consisting of one or more lines of earthworks, with stockades or defensive walls, external ditches. Hillforts developed in the Late Bronze and Early Iron Age the start of the first millennium BC, were used in many Celtic areas of central and western Europe until the Roman conquest; the terms "hill fort", "hill-fort" and "hillfort" are all used in the archaeological literature. They all refer to an elevated site with one or more ramparts made of earth, stone and/or wood, with an external ditch. Many small early hillforts were abandoned, with the larger ones being redeveloped at a date; some hillforts contain houses. Similar but smaller and less defendable earthworks are found on the sides of hills; these may have been animal pens.
They are most common during periods: Urnfield culture and Atlantic Bronze Age Bronze Age Hallstatt culture late Bronze Age to early Iron Age La Tène culture late Iron AgePrehistoric Europe saw a growing population. It has been estimated that in about 5000 BC during the Neolithic between 2 million and 5 million lived in Europe. Outside Greece and Italy, which were more densely populated, the vast majority of settlements in the Iron Age were small, with no more than 50 inhabitants. Hillforts were the exception, were the home of up to 1,000 people. With the emergence of oppida in the Late Iron Age, settlements could reach as large as 10,000 inhabitants; as the population increased so did the complexity of prehistoric societies. Around 1100 BC hillforts in the following centuries spread through Europe, they served a range of purposes and were variously tribal centres, defended places, foci of ritual activity, places of production. During the Hallstatt C period, hillforts became the dominant settlement type in the west of Hungary.
Julius Caesar described the large late Iron Age hillforts he encountered during his campaigns in Gaul as oppida. By this time the larger ones had become more like cities than fortresses and many were assimilated as Roman towns. Hillforts were occupied by conquering armies, but on other occasions the forts were destroyed, the local people forcibly evicted, the forts left derelict. For example, Solsbury Hill was sacked and deserted during the Belgic invasions of southern Britain in the 1st century BC. Abandoned forts were sometimes reoccupied and refortified under renewed threat of foreign invasion, such as the Dukes' Wars in Lithuania, the successive invasions of Britain by Romans and Vikings. Excavations at hillforts in the first half of the 20th century focussed on the defenses, based on the assumption that hillforts were developed for military purposes; the exception to this trend began in the 1930s with a series of excavations undertaken by Mortimer Wheeler at Maiden Castle, Dorset. From 1960 onwards, archaeologists shifted their attention to the interior of hillforts, re-examining their function.
Post-processual archaeologists regard hillforts as symbols of wealth and power. Michael Avery has stated the traditional view of hillforts by saying, "The ultimate defensive weapon of European prehistory was the hillfort of the first millennium B. C.". Beyond the simple definition of hillfort, there is a wide variation in types and periods from the Bronze Age to the Middle Ages. Here are some considerations of general appearance and topology, which can be assessed without archaeological excavation: Location Hilltop Contour: the classic hillfort. Examples: Brent Knoll, Mount Ipf. Inland Promontory: an inland defensive position on a ridge or spur with steep slopes on 2 or 3 sides, artificial ramparts on the level approaches. Example: Lambert's Castle. Interfluvial: a promontory above the confluence of two rivers, or in the bend of a meander. Examples: Kelheim, Miholjanec. Lowland: an inland location without special defensive advantages, but surrounded by artificial ramparts. Examples: Maiden Castle, Old Oswestry, Stonea Camp.
Sea Cliff: a semi-circular crescent of ramparts backing on to a straight sea cliff. Examples: Daw's Castle, Dinas Dinlle, Dún Aengus. Sea Promontory: a linear earthwork across a narrow neck of land leading to a peninsula with steep cliffs to the sea on three sides. Examples: Huelgoat. Sloping Enclosure or Hill-slope enclosure: smaller earthwork on sloping hillsides. Examples: Goosehill Camp, Plainsfield Camp, Trendle Ring. Area > 20 ha: large enclosures, too diffuse to defend used for domesticated animals. Example: Bindon Hill. 1–20 ha: defended areas large enough to support permanent tribal settlement. Example: Scratchbury Camp < 1 ha: small enclosures, more to be individual farmsteads or animal pens. Example: Trendle Ring. Ramparts and ditches Univallate: a single circuit of ramparts for enclosure and defence. Example: Solsbury Hill. Bivallate: a double circuit of defensive earthworks. Example: Battlesbury Camp. Multivallate: more than one layer of defensive earthworks, outer works might not be complet
An Albarrana tower is a defensive tower detached from the curtain wall and connected to it by a bridge or an arcade. They were built by Muslims when they occupied the Iberian Peninsula between the 8th and the 15th centuries from the 12th century during the Almohad dynasty and in the south of Spain and Portugal where the Islamic influence was the longest. In Spanish, they are called torre albarrana; the towers of typical appearance, with a square section, were built several meters in front of the curtain wall. They were accessible by a bridge walkway from the curtain wall. More the bridge had a removable wooden section allowing the tower to be isolated from the wall if the tower is occupied by attacking forces; the earliest Albarrana towers were pentagonal or octagonal in plan but a more rectangular plan became the norm. In France and the north of Europe, flanking towers remained a part of the wall; the keep were sometimes built as a part of the wall instead of inside the yard at the center of the castle.
They were philippian towers. The main albarrana towers are: Torre de Espantaperros in Spain; the first albarrana tower, built by Abu Yaqub Yusuf in 1170. Its plan is octagonal. Torre del Oro, Torre de la Plata in Sevilla Torre de la Malmuerta in Cordoba Town of Talavera de la Reina near Toledo with several albarrana towers Òdena castle near Barcelona Castle of Paderne in Portugal 2 albarrana towers in the Santa Catalina castle in Jaén Castle of Loulé in PortugalAlbarrana towers are uniquely confined in the Iberian Peninsula. In the other parts of the medieval Muslim world this defensive feature seems not to be used; the only example of a true Albarrana tower in England can be found at Pontefract Castle. The castle now lies in ruins, but one Albarrana tower called Swillington Tower is visible on the models of the castle and the remains of the tower itself can be seen to the north of the castle. Burton, Peter, "Islamic Castles in Iberia", The Castle Studies Group Journal, 21: 228–244 Burton, Peter, "Islamic Castles in Iberia", Postern, 21 http://www.elperiodicoextremadura.com/noticias/noticia.asp?pkid=435528 https://web.archive.org/web/20140606060349/http://castlesofspain.co.uk/TorreAlbarrana.html
A bartizan called a guerite or échauguette, or spelled bartisan, is an overhanging, wall-mounted turret projecting from the walls of late medieval and early-modern fortifications from the early 14th century up to the 18th century. Most found at corners, they protected a warder and enabled him to see his surroundings. Bartizans are furnished with oillets or arrow slits; the turret was supported by stepped masonry corbels and could be round, polygonal or square. Bartizans were incorporated into many notable examples of Scots Baronial Style architecture in Scotland. In the architecture of Aberdeen, the new Town House, built in 1868–74, incorporates bartizans in the West Tower. Bretèche garret—an attic or top floor room in the military sense.
A gord is a medieval Slavic fortified wooden settlement, sometimes known as a burgwall after the German term for such sites. Gords were built during the late Bronze and early Iron Ages by the Lusatian culture, in the 8th–7th centuries CE, in what is now Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, eastern Germany, Romania/Moldova and western Ukraine; these settlements were founded on strategic sites such as hills, lake islands, or peninsulas. A typical gord was a group of wooden houses built either in rows or in circles, surrounded by one or more rings of walls made of earth and wood, a palisade, and/or moats; some gords were ring-shaped, with a round, oval, or polygonal fence or wall surrounding a hollow. Others, built on a natural hill or a man-made mound, were cone-shaped; those with a natural defense on one side, such as a river or lake, were horseshoe-shaped. Most gords were built in densely populated areas on sites that offered particular natural advantages; as Slavic tribes united to form states, gords were built for defensive purposes in less-populated border areas.
Gords in which rulers resided or that lay on trade routes expanded. Near the gord, or below it in elevation, there formed small communities of servants, merchants and others who served the higher-ranked inhabitants of the gord; each such community was known as a suburbium. Its residents could shelter within the walls of the gord in the event of danger; the suburbium acquired its own fence or wall. In the High Middle Ages, the gord evolved into a castle or citadel and the suburbium into a town; some gords did not stand the test of time and were abandoned or destroyed turning into more or less discernible mounds or rings of earth. Notable archeological sites include Poland; the term descends from the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European root ǵʰortós, enclosure. From this same root come the Germanic word elements *gard and *gart, also the names of Graz and Gartz, Germany. Cognate to these are English words such as yard, garth and court. Cognate but less related are Latin hortus, a garden, its English descendants horticulture and orchard.
Further afield, in ancient Iran, a fortified wooden settlement was called a gerd, which became jerd under Arab influence. Burugerd or Borujerd is a city in the West of Iran; the Indian suffix -garh, meaning a fort in Hindi and other Indo-Iranian languages, appears in many Indian place names. Given that both Slavic and Indo-Iranian are sub-branches of Indo-European and that there are numerous similarities in Russian vocabulary and Sanskrit vocabulary, it is plausible that garh and gorod are related, although this is contradicted by the phoneme /g/ in Indo-Iranian, which cannot be a reflex of the Indo-European palatovelar /*ǵ/; the Proto-Slavic word *gordъ differentiated into grad and gorod, etc. It is the root of various words in modern Slavic languages pertaining to fenced areas, it has evolved into words for a garden: Ukrainian город Russian огород Serbian and Macedonian градина Serbian oграда/ograda Polish ogród Slovak záhrada Czech zahradaAdditionally, it has furnished numerous modern Slavic words for a city or town: Russian gorod Ancient Pomeranian and modern Kaszubian gard Bulgarian, Croatian and Serbian град Slovak and Czech hrad or "grad" Slovene Polish gródThe names of many Central and Eastern European cities harken back to their pasts as gords.
Some of them are in countries which once were but no longer are inhabited by Slavic-speaking peoples. Examples include: Horodok Gorod Hrod Harad Hrud Horod Hrad Gard Grod Grad The Polish word for suburbium, podgrodzie means a settlement beneath a town: the gród was built at the top of a hill, the podgrodzie at its foot; the word survives in the names of several villages and town districts, as well as in the names of the German municipalities Puttgarden and Putgarten, Rügen. The fort at Cape Arkona – the Jaromarsburg Garz Castle the fort of Charenza near Venz in the municipality of Trent the Herthaburg near the Stubbenkammer in the Jasmund National Park Mecklenburg Castle in the village of Dorf Mecklenburg near Wismar the fort of Groß Raden near Sternberg the fort of Behren-Lübchin reconstructed in the Groß Raden Archaeological Open Air Museum Gädebehn Castle in the county of Mecklenburgische Seenplatte Ganschendorf Castle in the county of Mecklenburgische Seenplatte the fort of Grapenwerder in the county of Mecklenburgische Seenplatte Quadenschönfeld Castle in the county of Mecklenburgische Seenplatte Neu Nieköhr Castle in the county of Rostock the fort of Neu-Kentzlin between Demmin und Stavenhagen Mölln Castle in the county of Mecklenburgische Seenplatte Möllenhagen Castle in the county of Mecklenburgische Seenplatte
A sally port is a secure, controlled entryway to a fortification or prison. The entrance is protected by some means, such as a fixed wall on the outside, parallel to the door—which must be circumvented to enter and prevents direct enemy fire from a distance, it may include two sets of doors that can be barred independently to further delay enemy penetration. From around 1600 to 1900, a sally port was a sort of dock where boats picked up or dropped off ship crews from vessels anchored offshore; that meaning still occurs in coastal Great Britain. The word port is from Latin porta for door; the term postern is used synonymously. It can mean an underground tunnel, or passage. A sally derived from Latin salīre, or "salle" sortie, is a military maneuver during a siege, made by a defending force to harass isolated or vulnerable attackers before retreating to their defenses. Sallies are a common way for besieged forces to reduce the strength and preparedness of a besieging army. Targets for these raids included tools, which defenders could capture and use—and labor-intensive enemy works and equipment, such as trenches, siege engines, siege towers.
Sometimes the defenders attacked enemy laborers, stole or destroyed the besiegers' beer and food supplies. An extract from a 19th-century dictionary of military terms describes a sally port thus: those underground passages, which lead from the inner to the outward works; when they are constructed for the passage of men only, they are made with steps at the entrance, outlet. They are about six feet wide, 8 1/2 feet high. There is a gutter or shore made under the sally-ports that are in the middle of the curtains, in order that the water which runs down the streets may pass into the ditch; when sally-ports serve.to carry guns through them for the out-works, instead of making them with steps, they must have a gradual slope, be eight feet wide. A sally port appears on the coat of arms of Malta. Mantrap "Sally-Port". New International Encyclopedia. 1905