Recent fieldwork on hillforts and other earthworks in Wales

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Recent fieldwork on hillforts and other earthworks in Wales

October 7 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm


Recent fieldwork on hillforts and other earthworks in Wales

by Paul Belford FSA

In the last few years the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust (CPAT) has undertaken a number of excavations on hillforts and linear earthworks in Wales. This work has been accompanied by a systematic programme of palaeoenvironmental analysis and scientific dating – including both radiocarbon dating and optically-stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating. As a result CPAT now has confirmed dates for the construction of Offa’s Dyke and for the ramparts of Beacon Ring, a hillfort on the Long Mountain near the Welsh border. The results from Beacon Ring, which is part of a long-term programme of research and conservation partly funded by Cadw, represent the first OSL date for a hillfort rampart obtained anywhere in the UK. The results from Offa’s Dyke, gained over several successive seasons from a number of different locations, are also the first scientific dating of this monument, and complement work done more than a decade ago on nearby Wat’s Dyke. This lecture will consider the potential and limitations of scientific dating for earthworks in general, before discussing the case studies of Offa’s Dyke and Beacon Ring in the broader context of linear earthwork studies and hillfort studies both in the UK and elsewhere. Comparison will be made with sites and projects elsewhere in Europe, for example recent work on the Danevirke by a partnership between the State Archaeological Department of Schleswig-Holstein in Germany and the Danish Museum Sønderjylland, and work on hillforts in Lithuania and Germany led by the Centre for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology. The lecture will conclude with a call for a coherent multi-agency approach to develop a long-term programme for dating earthworks across borders.

Please note that due to COVID 19 restrictions this event may be online only. 

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October 7
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
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