4.4 Monument Orientation - Area patterns

The south west area

Evidence is strongest for the period 3500-2500bc (Table 77), with the preferred orientation being the NE-SE quadrant at 45% of sites, then the NW-NE at 23%. The numerical base is small, however, at 47 sites. The same comment applies to the basis for the remaining evidence which shows the south west area preferring NW-NE followed by NE-SE orientation in three of the last four periods, the one exception being in the period 14/1300-8/700bc where the NE-SE and SE-SW quadrants were equally preferred at 6% each, and the NW-NE had no instances.

The south area

The south area shows a similar bias to that of the south west in the period 3500-2500bc towards NE-SE orientation (45% of sites, Table 80) with NW-NE next but still far behind at 10%. The numerical base is small and 40% of sites have no orientation recorded. For the remaining periods, on very small samples (Table 79), the preference appears to move around by a quadrant from NW-SE to NE-SW. It is doubtful that much can be made of this scant evidence by itself.

The south east area

The south east area mirrors the other two areas for 3500-2500bc, with the NE-SE (23%) and the NW- NE (18%) as leading preferences. These two orientations are still preferred in 2500-14/1300bc, but any pattern there might be breaks thereafter into even preferences in 14/1300-8/700bc. The numbers recorded in succeeding periods are too low for serious inferences to be drawn.


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