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About the Hillfort of Daugmale

Over the centuries, the fates of people living on the shores of Daugava have been affected by the presence of the river. Daugava was a road uniting Latgallians, the Semigallians and the Livonians with the nations of Scandinavia and Russians, but separated them from the people of Fenno-ugrian origin and the Balts. Countless forces and armies have stepped on this land.

Evidence on the former activity in the area is provided by the ancient Hillfort of Daugmale. No one is able to list all the names this Hillfort has been once called in. One of the most ancient is Handvana or the city next to Daugava, as well as it has assumed the name of Baltgalvis, the Hillfort at TIci and Pukstni, but now, already for quite a while it has been referred to as the Hillfort of Daugmale.

The History of Denmark as depicted by the 13th century Danish-origin historian Sax Grammarian, mentions a certain city of Daugava/Duna and its ruler Handvans, who waged a war against the mythical Vikings – Hading and Frodi.

The Chronicle by Indrikis of Livonia also makes a reference to a Semigallian harbour that sat on the shore of Daugava. The Hillfort of Daugmale was the most prominent transit trading outpost during the 10th to 12th century in the proximity of the bay of Riga. Just 30km away from the sea, back that it flourished. A most luxurious collection of imported items in eastern Baltics for the time was recovered in the area of Hillfort of Daugmale – it once was a hectares large ancient town with gates and a road that led to the harbour on the shore of Daugava.

The first ancient items recovered from the area were characteristic to Balts, but later items – to Livonians. Among the items recovered were a multitude of various coins, indicated towards the fact that the area once was a well-developed trading outpost between many nations. However, the various crafting tools and household items reveal that the area was known for housing a well-developed craftsmanship. The amount of pottery shards originating from both non-wheel-made and wheel-made pottery design exceed 200 thousand items. That is not it! Also many residential and household buildings with stone and clay stoves  have been revealed including a pottery kiln, mill, jewellery crafts shops, ironing casting overs, fortification remains and the gates of the ancient city.

Daugmale has often suffered from grave atrocities of war and in spite of that it has reborn, archaeologists have established that during its time of existence the Hillfort has been burned at least fourteen times.

It has not been yet established what events took place at the Hillfort in the end of 12th century… The ancient and wealthy city simply vanished in the end of 12th century…

Let us meet on the Hillfort of Daugmale to relive the myths and events that have once taken place here!

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 May 2016 15:34