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CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: An earthwork built to defend a site, such as a fort. It was the mound of earth on the inner side of the ditch or an elongated bank, often forming an enclosure. Often a palisade of stakes were on top. A rampart made it difficult to attack a castle or fort. Combinations of ramparts and ditches made up the defenses of hillforts in prehistoric Europe. Roman legion camps always built a rampart of ditches, earth walls, and wooden palisades, within which the space was divided into headquarters, supply, and troop areas. Indications of the construction of the rampart may occur as tip-lines or turf-lines, which may represent pauses in the work or different phases of building. Buried soils are frequently found underneath mounds and ramparts, a source of information for environmental archaeology.

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