4.2 Disposal Locations - Area patterns

The south west area

Table 17 shows a marked movement away from instances of disposal in open structured locations which dominated the periods 3500-2500bc and 2500-14/1300bc (85-87%). There is a wider, more even spread among the four types in the two periods over 8/700bc-AD43. In the middle, 14/1300-8/700bc, a shift seems to begin as open unstructured sites grow in use (rising from the previous 11% to 29%) and open structured sites are fewer (dropping from 87-66%). The first directly gains from the second, as there are relatively few instances of disposal on settlement sites over 3500- 8/700bc in the south west.

In the last period, 100bc-AD43, open structured sites appear to recover (they rise from 23-39%), and again are the largest group but still not the majority. The different locations continue to be more evenly used, however. Some caution always needs to be exercised over results based on relatively small site numbers, such as occur in four of the five periods.

The south west location types are analysed in Table 18 to show the relative usage of a type through time. The data emphasise the apparent shift of use away from open locations to settlement locations in the period 8/700bc-AD43. Another point of interest is the steady if small percentage of instances of disposals occurring in open unstructured locations over 14/1300bc-AD43. The figures are perhaps distorted by the heavy numerical bias to open structured sites in the period 2500-14/1300bc, and the numerical base elsewhere is also small.

The south area

Table 20 shows that open structured sites are used frequently through the first three periods (83%, 96% and 96%) in the south, but there is a very notable switch in 8/700-100bc to structured settlement locations (from 1% to 50%). From that time there is a more even spread of use, but open unstructured locations are still little used in the south (5% or less over 3500-100bc), whereas both unstructured and structured settlement sites are used more.

In 100bc-AD43, the unstructured settlement and open structured locations in the south keep to broadly the same proportions as in the period immediately before, but open unstructured locations gain at the expense of structured settlement locations, rising significantly in 100bc-AD43. They form roughly the same proportion (30%) as structured disposal locations. Structured settlement disposal locations have fallen from 50% but still occur on one third of all south sites.

Table 21 shows the use of a disposal location type through the five periods for the south area. There is an apparent shift in practice away from open locations to settlement locations occurring in this area also in the period 8/700bc-AD43. A second point of remark is the heavy proportion of open unstructured sites (50%) in the south in the last period 100bc-AD43. The distribution of sites between the periods (see Table 19) distorts the results.

The south east area

The south east area shifts in the same way as the others in the period 8/700bc, from heavy use of open structured sites (73-90% in Table 23) to more even spread in the use of all four types. The settlement locations are at first more prevalent (62%) and evenly represented. The south east area differs in two notable ways from the south, however. The south east appears to use unstructured open disposal locations more between 3500-8/700bc, to the extent that during 14/1300-8/700bc and the next period there is no very sharp increase in their use (from 18 to 23%). The south west also shows a similar broad difference from the south. There then appears to have been a swing back from the very considerable increase in the incidence of use of settlement sites in 8/700-100bc to the greater use of open sites of both types in 100bc-AD43 (from 62:42 to 29:74). Indeed at this point the open unstructured site appears in the south east to complete a steady rise over the last three periods (from 14/1300bc-AD43) to become the most prevalent location for disposal. The incidence moves from 18- 23-41% over that period, echoing back to the 25% incidence in 3500-2500bc in the south east.

Table 24 illustrates within location types the same shift to settlement disposal locations occurring in the south east. It provides evidence that south east open unstructured locations had steady representation through every period, with a surge in 100bc-AD43. A similar surge occurred in the south, but there was none in the south west. On the other hand, the south east and south west share a common tendency to make more regular use of open unstructured locations than did the south throughout the five periods. A caveat about the imbalance of site numbers, and the size of the sample applies here.


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