A volunteer army is being drafted to map every single hill fort in Britain and Ireland in a four year project funded by the Arts and Humanities Council.
There are around 5,000 of these Iron Age monuments and so far little academic work has been done on them. Archaeologists are now keen to understand why they were created, in what way they were used and how they varied across England and Ireland.
The project has been awarded £950,000 from the Arts and Humanities council so that hill forts can become better understood
With the oldest hill forts in Ireland and Wales believed to be up to 3000 years old, it is thought that they weren’t necessarily used for military defences but for meeting places for market days and religious festivals.
At some sites, pottery, metalwork and evidence of domestic and agricultural activities has been found. Many of the forts were then abandoned once the Romans arrived in Britain.
It is hoped that the volunteer army can identify and record ramparts, ditches and entrances. This information can then be can then be fed into on online form on Atlas of Hillforts Project website by this Monday. The information will be used to create a paper atlas as well as an online serachable atlas that will be available to the public, searchable by region and linked to Google Earth.