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Fort (or at least 3/4 of one)
This is how we trapped slavers which often came from North Africa. It's called Borgarvirki (but we called it something different). I located it on the internet and am really surprised that they even restored our 'trap' whose secret has lasted through the centuries. Now I will explain how it worked. The slaver ships would land at the beach (on the left in the panorama).
This was the bait. It does look like a fort doesn't it but it is a fake fort. Why was it a fake? It was wide open in several places in the back so it was fake. And it had a big gap in the front (to the right).
We would put a bout five Icelandic boys in it who would yell and throw burning branches from large fires in the fort down at the slavers as they came up the trail. The slavers got to keep any of us they caught so they would leave the ships without anyone on board except a few slaves they had captured earlier. Then they would come running up the hill while the Icelandic women and children hid down near their ships in caves and behind rocks.
The slavers would run up the hill and knock down a gate which used to be in this wall. Then they would run through lots of smoke the boys made by burning wet plants.
They would get lost in the smoke and fall over the rim of this circular area. Then they would roll down the sides and into that big 'well' which had iron spikes that stuck straight up from the bottom. Up to twenty slavers would impale themselves on the spikes and die. The women were not taking any chances with our freedom.
It was very similar to an ant lion pit and..
..worked something like this.
(In the brochures they explain the pit is a 6 meter deep well but it would have to be at least 300 feet deep to reach the water level which is at the base of the mountain, not at all near the top.)
Meanwhile the five boys that had started the fires and yelled challenges at the slavers would ride off on their ponies to safety. The literature says the 'fort' had three sides but how can it be a fort with only three out of four sides?
The women and children that were hiding near the ships. They would come out of hiding and steal the ships leaving the slavers stranded with..
about 5000 Viking farmers in just this one valley who had just been notified that this might be the only time in that life they might get to be real Viking warriors. Then they would come rushing up the back where there wasn't even a wall and terminate the situation.
© 2005 John Pinil