Document Type

Article

Rights

This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only

Disciplines

Anthropology, Ethnology, Archaeology, 6.5 OTHER HUMANITIES

Publication Details

IOP SCIENCE

Journal of Physics: Conference Series 685

http://iopscience.iop.org/1742-6596/685/1

Abstract

This paper assesses the measured axial orientations and siting of Irish passage tombs. The distribution of monuments with passages/entrances directed at related tombs/cairns is shown. Where this phenomenon occurs, the targeted structure is invariably located at a higher elevation on the skyline and this could suggest a symbolic and hierarchical relationship in their relative siting in the landscape. Additional analysis of astronomical declinations at a national scale has identified tombs with an axial alignment towards the rising and setting positions of the Sun at the winter and summer solstices. A criteria-based framework is developed which potentially allows for these types of data to be more meaningfully considered and culturally interpreted within broader archaeological and social anthropological contexts.

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