Camelot is on the map as "Cadbury Castle", situated at the village of South Cadbury, 11 miles from Glastonbury, the Isle of Avalon, the celtic"Ynys Witrin"
First written use of Glastonbury being "Avalon" C. AD 946.
This probably is the ancient Camelot, but it is not the type of "castle" which comes to mind when talking of them; it is a fortified town rather than a castle or fort.
Between the fort and the nearby river Cam, was found a hastily dug mass grave of men and boys, evidently fallen in battle. It maybe the grave of the fallen of the battle of Camlann, Arthur's last battle which was probably fought to defend this castle from the Saxon invaders.
"Camlann" maybe the original British/Celtic name for this place, and Arthur may have known it as such.
Also near here are two Saxon villages: Queen Camel and West Camel: of course both post-date the history of this place.
The documented battle, Mount Badon, or "Mons Badonicus" in which Arthur defeated the Saxons is in the next county, Wiltshire, at Liddington, another 'fort'.
It has the Saxon name "Badanburh", Celtic/British name "Badan", and It stands on a sort of dark-age front-line between the Saxons and the Britons.
The battle was probably fought C. AD 499.
The earliest reference of Cadbury being Camelot, has now been pushed back to an earlier time than that of John Leland, writing in 1542, who was thought to be the first to call this place Camelot, writing of it as such from his study of folklore, etc., but we now know it was named much earlier: Nennius (AD 800) mentions a "Camalet in Somersetshire". It is thought that he was quoting much earlier writings, now lost..
During the years 1966-1970 an archaeological excavation was carried out here. As well as finding that this place was used from the Neolithic period, 5,000 years ago, It also found that it was occupied during the bronze & Iron-ages, when the first fortifications were laid. These were earth banks fortified with huge boulders, dressed to shape.
The Iron age occupants were of the Durotriges tribe.
In AD 61, Roman soldiers, travelling from the nearby settlement of Ilchester, attacked the fort and massacred most of its residents, probably as punishment for sending men to support Queen Boudicca's uprising against the Romans, in the East.
Human remains showing signs of the violence of that attack were discovered in this fort's SW gate.
Evidence of Roman occupation of the site after the massacre have also been found.
The Roman army left Britain around AD 410..
Archaeology has established features UNIQUE to the Arthurian period, and to this site, even though other "Forts" of this type were reused during the time. This is also the largest re-fortified site: 44 acres.
Arthur may have been the "Riothamus" of history, who led military campaigns throughout Britain and Gaul, modern France, at the right time.
Riothamus is not a name but a title and approximates "Supreme leader" in modern English.
However, it is strange that a person with so many victories against the Visigoths in France has no name, and that no French writer has used any place in France in their works, indeed Chretien de Troyes, (c. AD 1170) set his Camelot is what is now Wales!
It is conceivable that one or more of the 12 battles of Arthur, may have been in France.
The mound in the SW corner of the Fort, named "Arthur's Castle" is shown; on it archaeologists found evidence of a large feasting hall of Arthur's time.
Camelot also had huge earth embankments, ditches and dykes, a large palisade fence and watchtowers on the top rampart..
In this video, views from the fort, towards Beacon hill, and views of the castle from the Beacon itself, at Sunset, are shown. Images from two visits are seen.
The last two photos here are of the site of Arthur's tomb, in Glastonbury abbey. His remains, with his queen, were found in AD 1191, and resited in front of the High altar in AD 1278.
Glastonbury is the renowned Isle of Avalon, topographically and historically it is actually well deserving of the name. It's only 11 miles from this castle, and a pathway called "Arthur's Causeway" leads to and from the Isle. Other contenders for the title of "Avalon" do not fit the bill.
People living near hear report hearing ghostly sounds of battle on some nights, and Arthur & his knights, legend says, can be heard riding back from Avalon on Midsummer's eve, and the night of the full-Moon.
When the Romans invaded, the whole of "Britannia" was ruled by many Celtic tribal kings.
Only after the Saxon invasion was there a "Wales".
This site was inhabited by the same people who were driven into Wales: the celts.
During the dig of 1966-70, potsherds dating from AD 460/70 and 510/20 were found; this means that the site is not "too late" to be Arthurian. Further, the director of the dig, Leslie Alcock, is not "embarrassed" to be associated with the search for Arthur as has been quoted.