By Al Oswald, Stewart Ainsworth, Trevor Pearson, Paul Frodsham

Iron Age hillforts in Northumberland nationwide Park are terribly good preserved, rivalling whatever to be discovered somewhere else in Europe. whereas the interiors of such a lot hillforts in southern England were hidden or disfigured through later land use, such a lot of these in Northumberland nationwide park were left fairly untouched in in view that they have been final occupied, within the Roman Iron Age, round 1,500 years in the past. in lots of circumstances, even the rules of timber-built roundhouses over 2,000 years outdated can nonetheless be obvious as shallow trenches within the turf. What did hillforts seem like after they have been first outfitted? Why have been they outfitted? What used to be lifelike for his or her population? This publication - aimed basically at walkers and different viewers to the nationwide Park - offers the result of a key component to Northumberland nationwide Park Authority's studying our Hillfort history undertaking; specific and wide archaeological panorama surveys conducted through English history. just like the top detective paintings, those investigations have mixed the precision of the microscope with and appreciation of the massive photograph. The authors - all Archaeological Investigators with English history - have, jointly, spent approximately a century exploring England's historical websites walking.

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Rampart terminals are seldom more than 2m apart, so the gateways would have been too narrow for large carts to enter, or for two people on horseback to ride through abreast (assuming there was no lintel or walkway above the gate, which might have forced them to dismount). The carpentry was doubtless of good quality, with gates made of stout planks, swinging smoothly on massive posts. 26B). Anyone trying to pass through would have to slow down and turn side-on to the rampart, leaving their flanks undefended as they came into striking range.

Until fairly recently, it was believed that timber palisades usually evolved into bigger and apparently stronger earth or stone defences, often enclosing a larger area. 28). The so-called ‘Hownam sequence’ has, until recently, been widely accepted as a template that could be applied to other hillforts in the region (see Chapter 2). While few, if any, stone or earthen defences appear to have been replaced in the end by timber palisades, excavations since 1948 elsewhere in southern Scotland have shown that hillforts seldom underwent a straightforward evolution.

4). So-called ‘rock art’, much of which also dates to the later part of the Stone Age, is far more common on the softer outcrops of the Fell Sandstone Hills, to the south-east of the Cheviots, than it is within the National Park. There are many different interprations of these enigmatic symbols, which usually comprise circular hollows known as cupmarks, sometimes with one or more concentric rings (‘cup-and-ring marks’). Many archaeologists believe that the symbols marked territorial boundaries or overlooked important routes, but most accept that we will never fully understand their meanings.

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