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News from the excavations: 19 August 2022

Tomorrow, Saturday 12-14, there will be an open day at the Valjala hillfort. You are welcome to come and see and hear what we have found!

We can say right away, the excavations have led to exciting discoveries as well as new questions. Just outside the great rampart, the foundations of another wall, 2 m in diameter, lie underground. Just inland from this is an area filled with large boulders, which formed a rather steep slope and was supported by a wall of clay soil. On top of the clay-soil rampart there was probably a wooden shelter, as suggested by a posthole excavated in one of the trenches. Outside the clay-soil rampart, between it and the second (earlier?) circular wall, there was a paving of flagstones.

It turns out, however, that inside the clay earth rampart there is another, stone-built wall, which can be seen from a trench made in the rampart roof. This was probably the original stone rampart, which has also been exposed inside the hillfort in earlier excavations. It has been reinforced at some time by an additional rampart of clay soil on the outside. It is highly probable that this construction work took place in the 13th century, when catapults were introduced and the castle needed to be protected from the large stones they threw.

However, when did the smaller wall at the foot of the fortress date from? Perhaps the excavations in the last few days will tell us. There is also currently an unfinished excavation on the outer rampart surrounding the whole of the above-mentioned complex, which, according to last year’s excavations, must have been built or at least reinforced in the 13th century and is 3 m wide.

The finds include a circa 13th-century arrowhead, an 11th-12th-century arrowhead and an 11th-century silver coin made into a pendant, as well as some pottery sherds.

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