Gabions were used by armies as an improvised defence, from the birth of gun powder through to the Zulu wars. The Gabion models include gabions suitable for building everything from a hastily erected gun emplacement to a Redoubt.
At the birth of gunpowder, the weaving of coppice was an established technology/skill. As such it was only natural to use this technology to build a container, in the form of a wicker drum, which was simply filled with rocks and/or soil.
Gabions were so effective at withstanding the effects of both small arms fire and cannon shot, that the basic materials and techniques used to build a gabion, remained unchanged through to the Zulu wars.
The Gabion is still used on the modern battlefield, in the form of prefabricated, wire mesh cubes, which are still simply filled with rocks and/or soil. In principle, the only real change is the shape and size of the container, to cater for the effect of modern weapons and allow rapid deployment.