During the Iron Age (nearly 3,000 years ago) the South Dorset Ridgeway was dotted with farmsteads along its length. However it would have been the hillforts that would have been far more visible,as they are today.
There are four of these great earthen constructions within the project area including the one of the largest known in Europe, Maiden Castle.
Most archaeologists agree that they were built to express the power and prestige of the local Durotrigian tribe leaders. People did live in them, and some like Chalbury were very densely populated. For wider information about Hillforts in Wessex look at this English Heritage publication from 2006.
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