A Spatial Analysis Of Stone Circles In Southwestern Ireland
Flanagan, David L.
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There is a tendency for the stone circles of southwest Ireland to be categorized by archaeologists based on the number of stones used to define their circumferences. This categorization does not adequately describe the associations that exist between the size and location of stone circles and their elevation, nearest neighbor distance, nearest coastal distance and intervisibility. This research demonstrates that the area of a stone circle is often more closely associated with these variables than is the number of stones used to define their circumference. Intervisibility is shown to be a significant factor in the location of Five-stone circles. Five-stone circles are observed to be non-randomly distributed throughout the region with respect to their intervisibility, while other stone circles do not suggest intentional positioning with respect to their visibility from other stone circles. This may indicate an important aspect of the social interactions which took place at these sites.