4.6 Rite Incidence - Area patterns

The south west area

Table 137 shows that, through the five periods, the south west broadly mirrors the overall pattern. The multiple phase rite is far more in evidence in 3500-2500bc at 17% of sites than would appear in the succeeding periods (0-4%). Evidence for ritual activity differs slightly, however, from the overall picture, and is higher than the average in 14/1300-8/700bc, in fact having risen to 29% incidence from the previous period's 22%. After dropping again in 8/700-100bc to 14%, it rises to 18% in 100bc- AD43. The numbers for these last three periods are small (Table 136) and allow little to be read into them.

For the proportion of sites in 3500-2500bc the south west area, as Table 138 shows, has a very high incidence of multiple phase rites (35% incidence : 10% of sites).

The south area

Although following overall patterns in most respects, the south area shows for 3500-2500bc (Table 140) a very high percentage of multiple phase rite sites at 43% (the average being 26% from Table 146), and similarly for sites with ritual activity at 60% (the average being 50%). There is another variation in ritual activity through the remaining periods where a decline over 2500-8/700bc is reversed in 8/700-100bc before dropping again in the final period. The underlying figures are not large (Table 139).

The south shares with the south west area a disproportionate incidence of multiple phase rite sites in 3500-2500bc (Table 141, 37% incidence against 5% site occurrence).

The south east area

Finally the south east area appears to favour the single phase rite to a slightly higher degree than the other two areas, and to have a significantly lower incidence of multiple rite disposals in 3500-2500bc at 18% (Table 143) compared with the south. The south east pattern here is the same as the south west, tailing off rapidly to zero over 8/700bc-AD43. Ritual activity shows an incidence and a rate of decline very close to the average of all areas.

Taking the incidence of characteristics through periods (Table 144), the south east shares similar characteristics with the south west and south areas in respect of the disproportionate occurrence of multiple phase rite sites in 3500-2500bc (33% incidence : 9% of sites).


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