To assist in understanding their significance, and to clarify understanding of the broch layout as well as simplify descriptions of void set areas, the collection of voids apparent in the inner walls are described as four void sets labelled (from west clockwise) A, B, C, and D (see 7) and align to the polar co-ordinates shown in Table 1 (There are no voids in high gallery 6. The voids of void set D at gallery levels 2, 3 and 4 do not penetrate the wall.). The details of this approach are shown in Table 1. Dryden (1890) raised the possibility that voids could be regarded as sets and in describing the voids at Mousa broch the author recognised and reproduced his idea. Paterson's illustrations of Mousa broch show cross-sectional plans of the six galleries of Mousa broch. From both these diagrams, we see that 'voids' penetrate the internal courtyard wall and open into circular stone passages/galleries.
Table 1: Details of void sets showing measurements of gallery chambers relative to ground/wall head and orientation of void sets
|Mousa broch location
Latitude: 59° 59' 45.37" N
Longitude: 1° 10' 50.46"
estimated 100BC150 AD
|Orientation of void sets A, B, C, D
Where North = 0 degrees East = 90 South = 180
West = 270
|Void set label||A||B||C||D|
|Top of void set distance from ground
in metres (approx.)
|Number of openings in void set||12?||16?||8||15/17?|
|Opposite wall mutual linear alignments
|Mutual linear alignments
All measurements estimated error
Table 1 shows a vertical relationship between the four void sets. The appearance of co-ordinates based upon common linear alignments does not appear to be random. Void sets are visible as vertical slatted slits in the walls. The vertical relationship extends from gallery level 1 up to gallery 5 and may continue below the stone scarcement.
© Internet Archaeology/Author(s)
University of York legal statements | Terms and Conditions | File last updated: Thu May 26 2011