Mockaičiai (Šiuraičiai) Hill Fort

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Veiviržėnai, Klaipėda district
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Just a kilometre away from the famous Skomantų mound, near Mockaičiai village , is a hill fort of the same name. Due to its location near a small village, the hill fort is also referred to as Šiuraičiai. The Šalpė river flows along the northern edge of the village before emptying into the Veiviržas river. The Kuisys stream flows along the western edge of the village. It, too flows into the Veiviržas. The Šiuraičiai forest is located at the southern edge of the village.

The hill fort, that dates back to the period from the 1st millennium to the 13th century, is located at the confluence of Veiviržas and Kuisys on a hill chain on the left bank. The platform of is a quadrangular oblong along a southwest-northeast axis. Its slopes are steep and rise to 20 metres in height, although they’re affected by natural erosion. On the northern and eastern sides, the platform is surrounded by an 80 metre-long mound which was created for defensive purposes. On the outside of this protective section was a ditch that was used to protect the mound and the platform of the hill fort from attacks from enemies.

The period of the existence of the Mockaičiai Hill Fort is confirmed by an old grave dating back to between the 2nd and 12th century that’s located about 300 metres northeast of the hill fort. The old grave is known as Gintarinis (Amber) Hill.

During exploration work in 2010, a massive axe with a wide blade was discovered. Due to a homestead (a farm building that stands to the east of the hill fort in the place of the former ditch) it was decided to not investigate the hill fort any further. In 2012 it was decided to conduct more research as there were plans to build a new residential house and it was necessary to see whether a valuable cultural layer existed within the territory. No archaeologically valuable layers, structures or discoveries were found.

Thus, a more detailed history of the hill fort, now overgrown with broad-leaved trees, doesn’t exist, offering an additional incentive to visit the site. It’s said that there was once a temple on the hill fort and sometimes those who visit it have seen burning money.

Travellers say that the most beautiful view of the hill fort is from the north, when its silhouette can be seen through the trees.

After visiting the Mockaičiai Hill Fort it’s possible to many more hill forts in the near vicinity, including the aforementioned Skomantai Hill Fort. The hill forts of Stankaičiai, Veiviržėnai, Lekiai, Šiupariai, Uoksai, Vyskupiškės and Pavilnutis are located less than 10km away from Šiuraičiai.

Mockaičiai (Šiuraičiai) Hill Fort

Veiviržėnai, Klaipėda district

Just a kilometre away from the famous Skomantų mound, near Mockaičiai village , is a hill fort of the same name. Due to its location near a small village, the hill fort is also referred to as Šiuraičiai. The Šalpė river flows along the northern edge of the village before emptying into the Veiviržas river. The Kuisys stream flows along the western edge of the village. It, too flows into the Veiviržas. The Šiuraičiai forest is located at the southern edge of the village.

The hill fort, that dates back to the period from the 1st millennium to the 13th century, is located at the confluence of Veiviržas and Kuisys on a hill chain on the left bank. The platform of is a quadrangular oblong along a southwest-northeast axis. Its slopes are steep and rise to 20 metres in height, although they’re affected by natural erosion. On the northern and eastern sides, the platform is surrounded by an 80 metre-long mound which was created for defensive purposes. On the outside of this protective section was a ditch that was used to protect the mound and the platform of the hill fort from attacks from enemies.

The period of the existence of the Mockaičiai Hill Fort is confirmed by an old grave dating back to between the 2nd and 12th century that’s located about 300 metres northeast of the hill fort. The old grave is known as Gintarinis (Amber) Hill.

During exploration work in 2010, a massive axe with a wide blade was discovered. Due to a homestead (a farm building that stands to the east of the hill fort in the place of the former ditch) it was decided to not investigate the hill fort any further. In 2012 it was decided to conduct more research as there were plans to build a new residential house and it was necessary to see whether a valuable cultural layer existed within the territory. No archaeologically valuable layers, structures or discoveries were found.

Thus, a more detailed history of the hill fort, now overgrown with broad-leaved trees, doesn’t exist, offering an additional incentive to visit the site. It’s said that there was once a temple on the hill fort and sometimes those who visit it have seen burning money.

Travellers say that the most beautiful view of the hill fort is from the north, when its silhouette can be seen through the trees.

After visiting the Mockaičiai Hill Fort it’s possible to many more hill forts in the near vicinity, including the aforementioned Skomantai Hill Fort. The hill forts of Stankaičiai, Veiviržėnai, Lekiai, Šiupariai, Uoksai, Vyskupiškės and Pavilnutis are located less than 10km away from Šiuraičiai.

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