Dun Mor Vaul (or simply Dun Mor) is an iron-age broch situated on a rocky knoll on the northern coast of island of Tiree. The broch consists of a drystone tower with an internal diameter of 9.2 metres with walls about 4.5 metres thick. The outer face of the wall survives to a maximum height of 2.2 metres. The entrance is on the southeast side. On the north side of the entrance passage is a small side-chamber, of a type usually called a 'guard cell'. The intramural cavity is well-preserved, and there are the remains of a staircase, which led to the upper levels, on the north side.
The broch was additionally protected by two outer lines of defence, one drawn round the irregular margin of the summit on all sides, and the other taking the form of a hornwork which restricted access from the landward side of the knoll.
The excavations showed that there had been two phases of occupation before the broch was built. In the earliest phase (5th century BC) there appears to have been a wooden hut, which may have been destroyed by fire. This was followed by a more extensive settlement occupying a larger proportion of the summit area. After an interval of unknown duration (possibly several centuries) the knoll was reoccupied and the construction of the broch and its outworks began.
The construction of the broch was dated by radiocarbon dating to the 1st century AD. It appears to have been used initially as a communal refuge, but by the 2nd century it had become instead the permanent residence of a single family. Before long the upper storeys of the broch wall were demolished, and a round house (or an aisled wheel-house) was constructed within the interior. It seems the broch was abandoned in the mid 3rd-century, the latest datable artefact from the interior being a fragment of a Roman glass bowl made in the Rhineland between 160 and 250 AD.
The finds include large quantities of native pottery sherds; fragments of Roman glass and samian-ware and coarse-ware vessels; bronze and silver spiral finger-rings; rotary querns; quartzite strike-lights; glass ring-beads; tools and dice of bone; and several tools used in weaving and the working of metals. The finds are now in the Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow.References:
The Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba, also known as the Great Mosque of Córdoba and the Mezquita is regarded as one of the most accomplished monuments of Moorish architecture.
According to a traditional account, a small Visigoth church, the Catholic Basilica of Saint Vincent of Lérins, originally stood on the site. In 784 Abd al-Rahman I ordered construction of the Great Mosque, which was considerably expanded by later Muslim rulers. The mosque underwent numerous subsequent changes: Abd al-Rahman II ordered a new minaret, while in 961 Al-Hakam II enlarged the building and enriched the Mihrab. The last of such reforms was carried out by Almanzor in 987. It was connected to the Caliph"s palace by a raised walkway, mosques within the palaces being the tradition for previous Islamic rulers – as well as Christian Kings who built their palaces adjacent to churches. The Mezquita reached its current dimensions in 987 with the completion of the outer naves and courtyard.
In 1236, Córdoba was conquered by King Ferdinand III of Castile, and the centre of the mosque was converted into a Catholic cathedral. Alfonso X oversaw the construction of the Villaviciosa Chapel and the Royal Chapel within the mosque. The kings who followed added further Christian features, such as King Henry II rebuilding the chapel in the 14th century. The minaret of the mosque was also converted to the bell tower of the cathedral. It was adorned with Santiago de Compostela"s captured cathedral bells. Following a windstorm in 1589, the former minaret was further reinforced by encasing it within a new structure.
The most significant alteration was the building of a Renaissance cathedral nave in the middle of the expansive structure. The insertion was constructed by permission of Charles V, king of Castile and Aragon. Artisans and architects continued to add to the existing structure until the late 18th century.
The building"s floor plan is seen to be parallel to some of the earliest mosques built from the very beginning of Islam. It had a rectangular prayer hall with aisles arranged perpendicular to the qibla, the direction towards which Muslims pray. The prayer hall was large and flat, with timber ceilings held up by arches of horseshoe-like appearance.
In planning the mosque, the architects incorporated a number of Roman columns with choice capitals. Some of the columns were already in the Gothic structure; others were sent from various regions of Iberia as presents from the governors of provinces. Ivory, jasper, porphyry, gold, silver, copper, and brass were used in the decorations. Marvellous mosaics and azulejos were designed. Later, the immense temple embodied all the styles of Morisco architecture into one composition.
The building is most notable for its arcaded hypostyle hall, with 856 columns of jasper, onyx, marble, granite and porphyry. These were made from pieces of the Roman temple that had occupied the site previously, as well as other Roman buildings, such as the Mérida amphitheatre. The double arches were an innovation, permitting higher ceilings than would otherwise be possible with relatively low columns. The double arches consist of a lower horseshoe arch and an upper semi-circular arch.