Radiocarbon dating burnt wood

Though their development was under way, in most parts of Britain, by the 9th century BC, the heyday of hillfort construction was in the 6th and 5th centuries BC. They come in diverse shapes and a vast range of sizes (from less than one to tens of hectares).Some have just one circuit of defences (univallate), whilst others have more (multivallate).These defences comprise a large inner bank, a ditch, a smaller outer bank and another ditch.The earthworks curve round to meet the precipice at the east, and at the west they merge at the place where the entrance was.The entrances (there are usually one or two, which would have had timber gates) are the weak points in a hillfort's defences, so much ingenuity and energy was often devoted to their design and construction.The entrance earthworks can be complex, and might incorporate long passages, bastions, barbicans, guardrooms, overlapping ramparts, hornworks and outworks.

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A small In total contrast to Maiden Castle is Castell Henllys in Pembrokeshire, which only encloses about ½ hectare.It is also assumed that, since the walls were round, the roof would have been conical.It would have had a timber framework and a covering of thatch (or possibly turf, which, being heavier, would require more support).All this variety and complexity is, however, the product of some eight or nine hundred years of hillfort evolution.Generally, early hillforts were relatively simple, univallate, affairs.