Nausodis, Varkaliai Hill Fort with settlement

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Mardosai, Plungė district
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Along with its outer bailey, the Nausodis Hill Fort, also known as the Pilalė and Apiera Hill, are located on separate hills in a valley of the left bank of the Babrungas river some 700 metres north of the Gandinga Hill Fort. The object forms a part of a former residential and defence complex dating from between the 1st and 13th century. The complex also includes the Nausodis Hill Fort II, the Gandinga Hill Fort and the Gandinga ancient settlement and burial ground.

The hill fort and settlement with an outer bailey can be reached from the Plungė-Kuliai highway by turning northwest in the direction of Noriškė and Varkaliai. Drive a further 1.1km, turn to the left and then sharp right, drive in a western direction towards a homestead and, after you reach the homestead, walk 700 metres down a path towards the Babrungas Valley. The hill fort is on the hill on the left, and is full of greenery. The outer bailey is on the right. The hill fort can be reached if you walk 100 metres in the north-easterly direction and pass the old drainage channel.

The slopes of the hill fort, which date 13th century, are steep, rising to some 16 metres in height. The platform is almost quadrangular, and is 16 × 14 metres in size. One of the slopes, below the site, has a 2 metre wide terrace, and below that is a 4 metre wide terrace. The northern and western sides of the hill fort have been washed away, and a pit has been excavated on the platform. The platform is uncultivated, and the slopes and the outer bailey are overgrown with broad-leaved trees.

After visiting at the beginning of the 20th century, the Polish explorer and an enthusiast of Lithuanian hill forts Liudvikas Kšivickis (Ludwik Krzywicki) described Apiera Hill as a triangular pyramid. The locals told the adventurer, who has visited about 200 hill forts in Lithuania, that the Holy Fire of the Balts was burning here and that a large oak tree was growing at the location. In Lithuanian, the word apiera means sacrifice.

In 1949, a larger-scale archaeological survey was conducted by the Lithuanian Institute of History. Its cultural layer and fortifications weren’t observed at the time.

Papilys, Pilalė, or the second hill fort, which may have been a sacred mountain or a foothill, was located 200 metres northeast of the hill fort. The platform is irregularly oval, oblong, and on an east-west axis with a tapering west end, 110 metres in length and 54 metres wide. About 10 square kilometres on the eastern part of the platform have been investigated, where smooth and rough pieces of moulded pots were found at the depth of 30cm. In this area, the ground surface was almost completely covered with naturally lying stones of different sizes. This hill fort is characteristic of the second half of the 1st millennium.

Nausodis, Varkaliai Hill Fort with settlement

Mardosai, Plungė district

Along with its outer bailey, the Nausodis Hill Fort, also known as the Pilalė and Apiera Hill, are located on separate hills in a valley of the left bank of the Babrungas river some 700 metres north of the Gandinga Hill Fort. The object forms a part of a former residential and defence complex dating from between the 1st and 13th century. The complex also includes the Nausodis Hill Fort II, the Gandinga Hill Fort and the Gandinga ancient settlement and burial ground.

The hill fort and settlement with an outer bailey can be reached from the Plungė-Kuliai highway by turning northwest in the direction of Noriškė and Varkaliai. Drive a further 1.1km, turn to the left and then sharp right, drive in a western direction towards a homestead and, after you reach the homestead, walk 700 metres down a path towards the Babrungas Valley. The hill fort is on the hill on the left, and is full of greenery. The outer bailey is on the right. The hill fort can be reached if you walk 100 metres in the north-easterly direction and pass the old drainage channel.

The slopes of the hill fort, which date 13th century, are steep, rising to some 16 metres in height. The platform is almost quadrangular, and is 16 × 14 metres in size. One of the slopes, below the site, has a 2 metre wide terrace, and below that is a 4 metre wide terrace. The northern and western sides of the hill fort have been washed away, and a pit has been excavated on the platform. The platform is uncultivated, and the slopes and the outer bailey are overgrown with broad-leaved trees.

After visiting at the beginning of the 20th century, the Polish explorer and an enthusiast of Lithuanian hill forts Liudvikas Kšivickis (Ludwik Krzywicki) described Apiera Hill as a triangular pyramid. The locals told the adventurer, who has visited about 200 hill forts in Lithuania, that the Holy Fire of the Balts was burning here and that a large oak tree was growing at the location. In Lithuanian, the word apiera means sacrifice.

In 1949, a larger-scale archaeological survey was conducted by the Lithuanian Institute of History. Its cultural layer and fortifications weren’t observed at the time.

Papilys, Pilalė, or the second hill fort, which may have been a sacred mountain or a foothill, was located 200 metres northeast of the hill fort. The platform is irregularly oval, oblong, and on an east-west axis with a tapering west end, 110 metres in length and 54 metres wide. About 10 square kilometres on the eastern part of the platform have been investigated, where smooth and rough pieces of moulded pots were found at the depth of 30cm. In this area, the ground surface was almost completely covered with naturally lying stones of different sizes. This hill fort is characteristic of the second half of the 1st millennium.

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