The place was thoroughly prepared to be defended. Three defence lines show military knowledge and the determination to accept large workloads in exchange for safety. The creators lived in troubled times. No army was expected to attack but a dangerous group of, say, several 50 to 200 men. According to the size of the structure it was designed for some 20-50, maybe 100 defenders. Concluding from that, the community of the creators had a size of some 100-300 people.
The refuge’s last defence area near the southern tip of the “triangle” only offers room for some 10 people.
The defence against distance weapons as arrows was no consideration judging by the remaining earth works. They protect against the north, not against the west. This might hint to the stone age though no guarantee can be given.
As far as metal using times are concerned, in view of the absence of finds it can be excluded that this place was populated by many people or over an extended period.
Dating the place is not possible at presence.
Stone age (pre 2000 BC)
If this place originated from the stone age no statements concerning the intensity of human activity at this spot are possible other than based on the size of the dug trenches.
Metal age (after 2000 BC)
If it originated from metal using times it was only lightly defended and usually deserted. The possibility of a massive, castle-like, wooden structure from medieval times, constantly maintained as depicted on the official drawing, can be excluded. People intended to come to this place only in case of a crisis. Apparently this crisis never came. Since no metal finds were made this is my favourite theory for metal using times. If it came it did not lead to much human activity so it was probably short (hours or days, not weeks or months) and not very serious.
The state’s archaeologists, when informed about the results of the metal detector survey, stood by their medieval dating. This opinion is based entirely on the structural remains, e.g. walls and trenches, which are typical for this period. No finds whatsoever are known. The absence of relevant metal finds in my survey is explained by private searchers and corrosion.
According to my experience neither searchers nor corrosion will remove all iron pieces of nail size from such a structure in the given chemical environment. The absence of such finds is relevant in my opinion.
The fortification structures were dictated by topography. Thus they are timeless and must not be used for dating. Though other known places of that kind are clearly of medieval origin, dating them always requires finds.
(C) Thorsten Straub www.metal-detecting.de 2006-2011.