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ringfort


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A small circular enclosure or fort, also known as a rath. Typically between 30 m and 50 m in diameter, they are bounded by one or more concentric earthworks comprising a bank and outer ditch. They are found widely across Ireland, southwest Wales, and central Scandinavia. Within the enclosure there are usually house foundations and traces of stock pens. Such ringforts date from the early 1st millennium bc through to the 11th century ad and were mainly farms, although some were occupied by families of significantly higher status. See also cashel; round.

Subjects: Archaeology — European History.


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