Medieval town wall of Tartu in the light of recent research

Medieval town wall of Tartu in the light of recent research

By Rivo Bernotas

Estonian Journal of Archaeology, Vol.15:1 (2011)

Abstract: The present study of the town wall of Tartu will try to summarize the results obtained so far during the archaeological investigations and discuss the condition of the town wall, the date of construction and its symbolic meaning to inhabitants of the medieval Old Livonia. As a result of archaeological research, it can be said that the wall consists of dry stone, soil and irregularly poured lime mortar to bind the stones. For constructing the wall, stone and limestone, intact bricks and the fragments of bricks have been used. The improvement and modification of the fortifications continued probably throughout the whole medieval period. Although the construction of medieval town wall of Tartu has been dated according written sources to the second half of the 13th century, namely to the time after the Russiansí raid in 1262, the existing research results show that it seems more likely that similarly to Tallinn, the wall was built in the first half of 14th century, when the former city seems to have been completely re-planned.

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