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Anthropology, Ethnology, Archaeology, 6.5 OTHER HUMANITIES
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.
Prendergast, F. (2016) 'Interpreting megalithic tomb orientations and siting within broader cultural contexts' in Brown, D., ed., Journal of Physics: Conference Series 685, http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1742-6596/685/1/012004/pdf: IOP Publishing, 1–25.