Rams Hill, Oxfordshire, England

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A multi‐period enclosure site on the Berkshire Downs of south Oxfordshire overlooking the Vale of the White Horse and the middle Thames Valley. Extensively excavated between 1972 and 1975 by Richard Bradley and Ann Ellison, the site has four main structural phases and is critical for understanding the early development of hillforts in southern Britain. The earliest phase dates to the early 12th century bc and comprised a stone‐faced dump rampart inside a chalk‐cut ditch that defined a roughly oval‐shaped enclosure of about 1 ha. There were probably two or three entrances. In phase 2, the late 12th century bc, a timber‐laced rampart was constructed to replace the earlier defences. In the third phase, around the beginning of the 10th century bc, a double palisade was built on top of the former, by this time mainly silted‐up, ditch. In the final phase, dated to the 7th century bc, a much larger enclosure of 3.5 ha was built around the hilltop in the style of early hillforts.


R. Bradley and A. Ellison, 1975, Ram's Hill: a Bronze Age defended enclosure and its landscape. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports British Series 19

Subjects: Archaeology.

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