Dai Urnal-Instants

By DaiUrnal


I walked to the top of Little Solsbury Hill to find the Bath and Camerton Archaeological Society ensconced in a ground-resistivity survey of the Iron Age fort that occupied the plateau summit. They were concentrating their efforts on the northern quadrant of the plateau, close to where the original fortified entrance was identified in digs during the 1950s.

They believe they have found evidence of round hut circles in their data. Which apparently is unusual, as according to Lawrence (left) many of the Iron Age Forts show no sign of settlement.

We speculated whether the 'Forts' were used primarily to protect the tribe's cattle and other livestock from raiding parties. Lawrence claimed that the Romans went through the hill-top settlements like a dagger through rancid butter when they arrived in Britannia, conquering 30 odd settlements in a month.

The length of the perimeter of the Iron Age Fort atop Little Solsbury Hill would require 20,000 warriors to defend the stone walls, Lawrence estimated. Perhaps that is high, as a mobile reserve could be used to reinforce any section of the perimeter threatened by attack. It would surely be easier to deploy defenders to the threatened section than for attackers to achieve tactical surprise (having to run uphill and all...).

Let's hope Time Team don't hear about this...

Postscript: Later I sat on the memorial seat to Susan Guscott, Jeremy Guscott's mum, and wrote this haiku, and these.

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