2. Reasons for Choice of Site

My initial idea for this methodological study was not to look at a particular period of time, but rather at a particular type of site: one that was not so small that there were very few divisions between spaces, but also not so large that there would be an overwhelming amount of data. Further specifications were that the site in question needed to be well preserved and fully excavated. After an initial survey of a number of site reports, it was decided that Black Patch fitted the requirements most closely. This research focuses upon Hut Platform 4 of the Black Patch site (henceforth HP4). This hut platform was fully excavated by Drewett's team in 1978, and is interpreted as having had five huts, occupied by an extended family group and largely contemporary for much of the period of use (Drewett 1982, 341; according to Drewett, Hut 1 had two construction phases, the first before the other huts were built).

It is worth noting here that the materials used to construct the buildings at HP4 may have affected the preservation of evidence for activities. Stone buildings are often used as 'quarries' once they are abandoned, as the materials from which they are built can be re-used. However, a building constructed primarily of wood would have been less appealing as a source of recycled building material, both because the effort involved in gathering and preparing 'new' wood is considerably less than that involved in quarrying stone from the ground and because wood already used in a building could have begun to decay, even before abandonment.

The nature of HP4 also makes it suitable for this investigation for a reason beyond its convenience for a study of this length — it is in a rural location, with a limited number of spaces. A space in an urban area (such as late antique Sagalassos, an area of which was the subject of a similar study of the arrangement of space; Putzeys et al. 2003) could more easily have developed a particular function, or have been constructed with one in mind, than one outside such an area. This is because there would have been many other spaces in the vicinity in which to carry out other activities. However, at a relatively small rural site such specialisation of spaces would have been less likely; there were fewer of them, so each one would need to have been 'multi-functional'. Even if it were necessary to restrict a particular space's use to one activity at such a site, the remaining spaces would have become the settings for more activities. The use of space in this way allows one to study how access relates to the location of activities.


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