Danebury Celtic Hillfort c. 6th century BCE


Map Code: Ax02098

Danebury is an Iron Age hillfort in Hampshire, England, which was extensively excavated by Barry Cunliffe in the 1970s. When first occupied, around 550 BCE, it was guarded by a single rampart-and-ditch ring but, over time, extra layers of defence were added, with the ramparts mounted by first wood, then stone walls. In the middle of the central enclosure are the traces of four rectangular structures, which may have been sites for excarnation (exposure of the dead) or granaries. The two entrance routes were remodelled for defensive purposes; access to the east gate is long and winding to deprive attackers of momentum, while to the southwest the access narrows appreciably, obstructing a massed attack. The fort was at the centre of a landscape of small farmsteads, which supplied the fort with grain, which was stored there. At times of unrest people from the surrounding countryside could take refuge behind the fort’s ramparts. In around 100 BCE, however, the fort was sacked and burned, thereafter falling into disuse.

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