The myth of the motte and bailey castle in Scotland
An assessment of medieval earthwork fortifications in Scotland and their relationship to traditional Anglo-Norman motte and bailey castles, and earlier Scottish sites....
Far out in the desert, in the midst of a rolling plain, beside the dry bed of an ancient stream, there is a deserted city.
The plain about it is not a waste of sand ,its surface is composed of dry and exhausted soil, overgrown with grey lichen , thinly sprinkled with parched desert plants, and strewn with rounded bits of black basalt, from the size of an egg to the size of a man's head, which are no longer black, as they were when the peasant's plough-share turned them over from time to time; for the desert mosses have covered them with a lace-work of white and grey, so disguising their real nature as to have led one traveller, at least, to mistake the plain for a bed of limestone.
The walls of the ancient deserted city, its half-ruined gates, the towers and arches of its churches, the two and three-storey walls of its mansions, all of basalt, rise black and forbidding from the grey of the plain. Many of the buildings have fallen in ruins, but many others preserve their ancient form in such wonderful completeness, that, to the traveller approaching them from across the plain , or viewing them with the aid of a field glass from the nearer crests of the Djebel Hauran, the deserted ruin appears like a living city, all of black, rising from a grey-white sea.
Author: Howard Crosby Butler
Article and Image Source: http://www.ummeljimal.org/
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