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Hownam Rings was excavated in 1948, revealing several phases of occupation, each time with a reconstruction. The first settlement was enclosed by a single palisade, less defensive than for keeping out animals; then it was reconstructed in the same form; then a stone wall 3m thick was built around it; again remodelled with defences of three ramparts and three ditches. Finally the defences were abandoned and the site became an open sub-rectangular settlement with circular stone-walled houses.
Hownam (hoo-, how-num) n. village in the eastern Borders, where the Hownam Burn meets the Kale Water. The ‘ Hownam Rings’ and the ‘ Shearers’ are nearby ancient stone arrangements, and there are also several hill-forts and cultivation terraces in the area.