Gerduvėnai Hill Fort

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Vėžaičiai, Klaipėda district
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The Gerduvėnai Hill Fort, located on the left bank of the Gerdauja river in the thick forests north of Gargždai, is one of the most mysterious of the more than 10 hill forts in Klaipėda region. It can be reached from the Kaunas-Klaipėda highway where it’s necessary to get close to Vėžaičiai, turn towards Lapės, travel to the Minija Valley and turn right before the Gerdaujė stream.

The Gerdaujė stream is said to have got its name from the Lithuanian phrase to give someone a drink (gerti, to drink). It’s possible that that the name of both the hill fort and the small village has something to do with drinking.

The hill fort itself dates back to the 13th century. Its slopes are steep and reach to up to 35 metres in height. Upon reaching the top you’ll find a large oval platform. It’s difficult to see the obvious signs of defensive fortifications here with the naked eye. At the south-eastern edge of the platform it’s possible to see the remains of two ditches and a mound between them. You can also see an outwork, located on another hill chain that’s fortified with a small mound and a ditch. The mound has been badly damaged by ploughing and is now overgrown with broad-leaved trees.

In 1963, the Lithuanian Institute of History conducted archaeological research at the hill fort. During these explorations, pottery, clay plasters and burns were found on the surface of the earth. The north-western foot of Gerduvėnai Hill Fort was explored in 2010. The cultural layer here tends to be non-intensive.

At the western base of the hill fort there are traces of the old settlement, and 500 metres to the south is a burial ground dating from between the 2nd and 13th century. The burial ground wasn’t known to archaeologists until 1996 when a Roman coin, found on the land of a local inhabitant, was taken to the Lithuanian National Museum.

Exploratory research at the burial ground and settlement was carried out in 2002 and again in 2007. Over 100 bones, various twisted and glass items and their fragments, pieces of pottery, a brooch, Roman coins and a sharp iron object were all found here. Research has suggested that the small burial ground that once existed here was severely damaged by agricultural work.

Perhaps due to its remoteness, Gerduvėnai Hill Fort is the subject of many legends, some of which are about ghosts. It’s said that during the holidays, an old man smokes a pipe at the top of the hill. There are people who say they’ve heard something large falling from the mountain into the Gerdauja river.

Gerduvėnai Hill Fort

Vėžaičiai, Klaipėda district

The Gerduvėnai Hill Fort, located on the left bank of the Gerdauja river in the thick forests north of Gargždai, is one of the most mysterious of the more than 10 hill forts in Klaipėda region. It can be reached from the Kaunas-Klaipėda highway where it’s necessary to get close to Vėžaičiai, turn towards Lapės, travel to the Minija Valley and turn right before the Gerdaujė stream.

The Gerdaujė stream is said to have got its name from the Lithuanian phrase to give someone a drink (gerti, to drink). It’s possible that that the name of both the hill fort and the small village has something to do with drinking.

The hill fort itself dates back to the 13th century. Its slopes are steep and reach to up to 35 metres in height. Upon reaching the top you’ll find a large oval platform. It’s difficult to see the obvious signs of defensive fortifications here with the naked eye. At the south-eastern edge of the platform it’s possible to see the remains of two ditches and a mound between them. You can also see an outwork, located on another hill chain that’s fortified with a small mound and a ditch. The mound has been badly damaged by ploughing and is now overgrown with broad-leaved trees.

In 1963, the Lithuanian Institute of History conducted archaeological research at the hill fort. During these explorations, pottery, clay plasters and burns were found on the surface of the earth. The north-western foot of Gerduvėnai Hill Fort was explored in 2010. The cultural layer here tends to be non-intensive.

At the western base of the hill fort there are traces of the old settlement, and 500 metres to the south is a burial ground dating from between the 2nd and 13th century. The burial ground wasn’t known to archaeologists until 1996 when a Roman coin, found on the land of a local inhabitant, was taken to the Lithuanian National Museum.

Exploratory research at the burial ground and settlement was carried out in 2002 and again in 2007. Over 100 bones, various twisted and glass items and their fragments, pieces of pottery, a brooch, Roman coins and a sharp iron object were all found here. Research has suggested that the small burial ground that once existed here was severely damaged by agricultural work.

Perhaps due to its remoteness, Gerduvėnai Hill Fort is the subject of many legends, some of which are about ghosts. It’s said that during the holidays, an old man smokes a pipe at the top of the hill. There are people who say they’ve heard something large falling from the mountain into the Gerdauja river.

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