Friday, September 09, 2011

Iron Age fort excavation under way in Somerset

The Ham Hill Iron Age hill fort site, in Somerset (England), spreads over 80 hectares - making it the largest in Britain and dwarfing better-known sites from the same period such as Maiden Castle, in Dorset, or Danebury in Hampshire. A major excavation is under way to explore its unclear history and researchers are now hoping to gain a deeper insight into life 2,000 years ago. Work is due to continue until September 2013 by which time the joint team from the universities of Cambridge and Cardiff hope to have a clearer map of its interior.

Niall Sharples, from Cardiff University, said: "It's a bit of an enigma. Ham Hill is so big that no archaeologist has ever really been able to get a handle on it. People think of these places as defensive structures, but it is inconceivable that such a place could have been defended. Thousands of people would have been required; militarily, it would have been a nightmare. Clearly it was a special place for people in the Iron Age - but when did it become special, why, and how long did it stay that way?"

More at Archaeo News

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