4.3 Monument Characteristics - Area patterns

The south west area

Starting with the south west area, Table 47 shows broad evenness of pattern in only one respect, that of special materials in construction, a scantily represented characteristic (0-5%) with only 10 occurrences (Table 46) on 483 sites. The next most consistent pattern appears to be in evidence for completion processes, where the practice declines sharply from 23% incidence within 3500-2500bc to 2-3% in the next two periods, and disappears completely from 8/700bc onwards. Visibility of monuments also shows a broad pattern of decline from 83-84% in the earliest two periods to 60% incidence in 14/1300- 8/700bc, and then down sharply to 20% of south west sites in 8/700-100bc. It moves back to 30% incidence in 100bc-AD43. However, the numbers of sites in the last three periods in the south west is small, and caution is needed using the results.

Single design sites dominate all five periods in the south west, by and large increasing in proportion through time from the 87% of 3500-2500bc to the 98% of 100bc-AD43. Where the south west exhibits most fluctuation is in the single/multiple-period characteristic, where although the single period sites are in the majority in all periods, they are higher in 2500-14/1300bc (92%) and 8/700-100bc (80%) than in the other three periods. Again, the sample is small.

To complete the south west examination, the monument characteristic types are analysed each for their occurrence through the five periods. Table 48 shows the relative usage of a type through time. In proportion to the distribution of sites through the five periods, multiple period occurrences are more evenly spread through time but of relatively lower frequency in the period 2500-14/1300bc, 77% of visible sites occur in 2500-14/1300bc compared with 67% of all sites falling in that period, and the proportions of sites not visible in 8/700-100bc and 100bc-AD43 are far higher at 21% and 24% respectively than actual site occurrence (7% and 9%). Sites with a completion process mostly occur in 3500-2500bc (58%) compared with 10% of sites, the bulk of the rest occurring in the next period (37%) before tailing off to 5% in 14/1300-8/700bc and then disappearing. The numerical base is small at 19.

The south area

In the south area, Table 50 indicates little variation through time in the characteristics of one design sites (93-99%), sites without completion processes (95-100%), and sites without special materials (98- 100%). Single design site incidence rises slightly through the periods, as multiple design sites gently fall. The pattern seems disturbed in the characteristics of one/multiple period sites and visibility. In the former case, one period sites are at similar high incidence in 3500-14/1300bc (89-90%), but drop to 78% and 66% incidence in 14/1300-8/700bc and 8/700-100bc, recovering a little to 80% in 100bc- AD43. These figures are based on 694 incidences. With visibility, the 90-93% occurrence over 3500- 8/700bc drops dramatically to 27% in 8/700-100bc and then again to 20% in the final period 100bc- AD43. These figures derive from a large numerical base of 670 incidences over the whole timescale.

Following individual characteristics through periods, and making allowance for the uneven distribution of sites (Table 49), the south area offers a number of variations. Multiple period sites are relatively more frequent in the period 14/1300bc-AD43 within the type occurrence, as are sites with less visibility. Sites of multiple design phases are relatively more frequent in the period 3500-14/1300bc (81% occur then) than later. Disposals set on old settlement sites fall mostly in the two earliest periods, but the numbers of instances are very low.

The south east area

The low use of special materials in south east monument construction (absence ranging from 98-100%, Table 53) and the lack of completion processes (93-100%) are the most consistent characteristics though time. The visibility of sites declines steeply from the 70-73% of 3500-14/1300bc to 53% in 14/1300-8/700bc and then to 23-20% in the last two periods covering 8/700bc-AD43. It is interesting that the starting point for visibility of sites in the south east in the 3500-14/1300bc periods is appreciably lower than that for the south west (83-84%) and the south (90-93%). Single design sites grow in proportionate use from 75% in 3500-2500bc to a range of 96-100% in the remaining periods. This is a lower starting point than that for the other two periods, but the incidence then corresponds closely. Finally, the one period site incidence follows the same broad pattern as that in the south, starting high at 90-92% over 3500-14/1300bc, dipping in the next period to 69%, recovering in 8/700- 100bc to 93%. This recovery is slightly stronger than in the south.

Table 54 traces the relative occurrence of a characteristic through the five periods for the south east. Making some allowance for the uneven distribution of sites through the whole timescale (Table 52), the south east shares with the south west and south low occurrences of the use of special materials and completion processes, and where they are used, a bias to the periods covering 3500-14/1300bc. As with the south west and south, the period 2500-14/1300bc carries a disproportionately higher number of visible sites (66% against 51% site occurrence). With the multiple design characteristic the south east has an unusually high percentage incidence in 3500-2500 at 43% (south west 19% and the south 10%), but this drops to well below the south west/south incidence in the next period, tailing off sharply thereafter.


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