rath rä, räth [key], circular hill fort protected by earthworks, used by the ancient Irish in the pre-Christian era as a retreat in time of danger. Some of the larger raths, such as that at Tara, were important in early Irish history and were used by chieftains or kings. Many raths remain throughout Ireland.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Archaeology: General