Archaeology Lunchtime Talk - 'How do we understand Hillforts: Recent work at Ham Hill, Somerset and Caerau, Ely, Cardiff'
Prof Niall Sharples, Cardiff University School of History, Archaeology and Religion.
Hillforts are one of the most common monuments to be found in Britain and they have been subjected to a considerable amount of archaeological research over the years. Despite this research there is still much to learn about these controversial monuments. The variety and longevity of the hillfort phenomena means that a single simple explanation for these monuments is problematic. This lecture will focus on two current excavations at Ham Hill in Somerset and Caerau in Cardiff. The excavations at Ham Hill occur in an area where many hillforts have been explored and on a hillfort which has been fairly intensively studied. Nevertheless it is still very difficult to explain why this is the largest hillfort in Britain and it is only our recent work that is beginning to understand how the hillfort developed. Caerau in contrast has never been explored before and is situated in a region, south Wales where practically no work has been done. Nevertheless, some of our discoveries can be compared to other hillforts and provide a context that helps to explain the development of the site.