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Is there enough evidence to prove why Celts settled down in Hambledon hill?

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Introduction

Is there enough evidence to prove why Celts settled down in Hambledon hill? Today, Hambledon Hill is one of Dorset's most impressive and distinctive landmarks. Now, it is home to a few grazing cows, but in the past it has been the home of many people. Some of the most well-known inhabitants of the hill in the past were the Celts of Dorset's Durotrige tribe, during the Iron Age. There are many reasons why these people choose to settle on Hambledon, and this essay aims to examine why Hambledon was chosen. Before deciding why the Celts chose Hambledon as the location for a settlement, we need to look at who they are, and therefore what they would need from a settlement. As the Celts did not often record things in writing, the evidence that modern historians have is derived from two sources. The first of these are writings by their invaders, the Romans, and the second is archaeological evidence. The people that this essay is studying lived on the hill from circa 750BC to the Roman occupation of 43AD. They were the first farmers, growing their own crops, and rearing their own animals, so therefore flat and fertile land would be an essential requirement of a fort. ...read more.

Middle

The hill and surrounding countryside are covered in green grass, showing an abundance of fertile and well irrigated soil, and the land around the fort is also very flat. This meant that the Celts would be able to provide for most their dietary needs near the fort; there was no need to transport food over large distances, and it was not essential to trade for food with other tribes, so a blockage of food supply roots was unlikely to be instantly devastating to the population of the fort. Another advantage is that the soil was relatively easy to dig. As the above image shows, the Celts constructed ramparts around the summit of the fort, to aid the defence. If the hill was made of another material, it would probably not have been possible to dig the comprehensive rampart system. In the present age, the fort is a surrounded by a small amount of woodland. When the Celts settled, the hill was surrounded by woodland, and this would have been another important factor in choosing the site for a settlement. The woodland meant many things to the people; it gave them wood for building their homes and fuelling fires, it would have given then somewhere to hunt, and there also may have been a spiritual aspect. ...read more.

Conclusion

This would be important for defensive and economic reasons. People could be moved from one fort to aid the defence of the other, and if one fort was captured, survivors could escape to the undefeated one. Economically, having so many forts in close proximity to each other meant that trading between them could happen easily. Being close to other forts also helped to prevent inbreeding with the inhabitants of a single fort, resulting in an overall healthier and more resistant population. Another advantage with the geographical location is the proximity to the coast. Although the Hill could not be described as 'coastal' it is within travelling distance of the coast, so goods could be brought in from overseas. To conclude, as with any decision to settle, the choice of Hambledon Hill was affected by many things. The strong defensive position was essential, and the presence of woodland, water and flat, fertile land was also vital. The previous inhabitancy of the site would have been an indication that it was an advantageous place to reside in, and the proximity to other forts was also very important. Sources School provided source http://www.Roman-Britain.org The Celts by Robin Place Peoples of the past series: Macdonald Invaded Islands by RJ Unstead Page 1 of 4 ...read more.

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