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A univallate consists of one banked- and-ditched enclosure, a bivallate has two lines of defence, while multivallate describes three or more.
This system of defence grew from the Bronze Age ditch-and-bank structure topped with a palisade to become more substantial during the Iron Age.
Only when Caesar got to Britain in AD55 is the warlike character of the native population reported.
The opponents Caesar faced at the end of the Iron Age were made up of foot-soldiers, cavalry and chariots pulled by ponies (11hh to 13hh), highly manoeuvrable and devastating to the close-formation, static Roman troops.
There is also evidence of violent death from recovered bone samples.
Breedon Hill in Worcestershire is infamous for the 60 headless bodies discovered immediately outside the inner gates by Mrs T Hencken in 1938, presumed victims of trophy hunting.
North-east Yorkshire and Northumberland have spectacular examples and there are some on the Isle of Man and in southern Scotland.The swords of the Iron Age were long slashing weapons, accompanied by shields of leather, sometimes overlaid with bronze, and spears.Whether these weapons were ceremonial or practical is open to debate, as is the level of violence prevalent in the Iron Age world.Those mossy banks take on a new character when you picture them as part of such a sturdy structure.As wood rotted, eventually the back line of posts was abandoned. The soil from the ditch was dumped on the side of the bank, forming a bed of scree that attackers would have to scramble up to reach a palisade at the top.