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29 April 2011
Hillfort test of Iron Age communication in Wales

An experiment has shed light on how Iron Age people communicated from their hilltop homes 2,500 years ago. About 200 volunteers stood on the summit of 10 hillforts in north Wales, the Wirral and Cheshire, and signalled to each other with torches. "The experiment was aiming to see if the glowing fires could have been seen across the hills and acted as a communication or warning system," said archaeologist Erin Robinson. "It was a success," said archaeologist Erin Robinson.
     The ancient sites used were on the Clwydian Range; Halkyn Mountain, near Holywell, Flintshire; a lowland site at Wirral; and the Sandstone Ridge, Cheshire. "Most of the hill forts across the surrounding landscape can be seen from each other," explained Ms Robinson from Denbighshire's Heather and Hillforts project. Ms Robinson said the furthest link was made between hills at Burton Point on the Wirral and Maiden Castle, at Bickerton Hill in Cheshire, a distance of approximately 25km (15.5 miles). "It was a hard thing to organise but it seems to have captured the imagination of the communities involved. We brought the hills alive."

Edited from BBC News (20 March 2011)

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