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I can see my hillfort from here!

28/06/2017
An amazing tool is now publicly available online, and this is no other than the “Atlas of Hillforts of Britain an Ireland“, listing 4,174 hillforts with some basic information on each one. Delighted to see UCC taking part there too!
Yet, this makes me wonder about the situation over here…. I mean, 4,174 hillforts in an area of 315,159 km², where Galicia proper (29,575 km²) is estimated to have housed +5,000.
Unfortunately, lack of research – or better say no budget and no interest from the administration – makes this figure just that, an estimate.
Still, the most conservative count goes for an equally impressive 1,300 (in relation to size), plus 992 currently catalogued in Northern Portugal (there sure were a lot more), and a couple of extra hundred in the rest of eastern Galician territories now outside “official” Galicia.
In any case, such numbers and locations speak volumes in Geography. Namely, one realises that (dating questions aside):
– It is the same settlement pattern but on a different scale, where the smaller (more dense) scale always predates the larger (less dense) scale.
– It is one more evidence of an identical cultural landscape(*)
– Therefore, the settlement model traveled south to north (multidisciplinary research insists on making this plainly evident anyway).
But hey, let the idiots over here keep babbling about how “there are no hillforts in the Isles”, or the other idiots over there yapping away on how “hillforts are unique and indigenous to the Isles”. Oh my, idiots everywhere 🙂
(*) Cultural landscape is defined as the environment modified by the human being in the course of time, the long-term combination between anthropic action on this environment and the physical constraints limiting or conditioning human activity. It is a geographical area – including natural and cultural resources – associated to historical evolution, which gives way to a recognizable landscape for a particular human group, up to the point of being identifiable as such by others. (Paredes, 2015a).

A conservative view on the spatial distribution of Galician “castros” (hillforts). Will they ever get properly catalogued? I know, rhetorical question.

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