Hillforts as records of human and nature interactions history

Category Other
Group GSI.IR
Location International Geological Congress,oslo 2008
Author Turuka, Vita; Kalnina, Laimdota; Vasks, Andrejs
Holding Date 08 October 2008

Hillforts are one of the best examples of the human and nature interactions for thousands of years ago until the present. Usually hillforts have been investigated by means of archaeology, rare from the geological and geomorphological aspect, which provides the key to the recognizing of landscape changes and helps to reconstruct the ancient landscapes and climate, as well as human impact on nature. Interdisciplinary study of hillforts in Latvia makes possible to better understand the geological development, contemporary processes and environment of people living on the hillforts.
The aim of present study is to clear up geological conditions and geomorphological features of hillforts. Main investigation methods include survey of hillforts, studies of topography, geomorphology and hydrological network and location respondingly to the last glacier movement, the late glacial processes, as well as classification of hillforts according there sizes, forms and natural and artificial character.
There are 6 different groups of forms of hillforts classified during earlier investigations. Some more classifications have been made according hillfort geological structure. Geological structures are very interesting for those hillforts at the banks of large rivers such as Daugava and Venta Rivers. The highest flutings, cames, eskers and plateau-like hills (zvonets) usually have been used for hillforts. Some of hillforts have been located at the banks of the ancient lakes or rivers and nowadays they are in quite far distance from water basins.
The present study has been devoted to the detailed investigation of the hillforts in Latgale District, Eastern Latvia. Data obtained have been compared with that from Kurzeme, Western Latvia.
This study include also evaluation of the geological processes and human impact also after hillfort has not been settled, which allows us to determine a long-term view of human and nature interactions, and help to determine measures for the hillfort management in the future.