Field system orientation (II)

Further to my previous post, I have now made a test of my field system orientation analysis method in another part of England.  This time, I decided to take a chunk of the extensive late prehistoric / Roman field systems of South Yorkshire / Nottinghamshire.  The section is question was south of Doncaster on the Yorks / Lincs border, plotted by Alison Deegan as part of the Magnesian Limestone ALSF NMP.

Layout of field system south of Doncaster.

Here is the resulting bearing / distance graph, as previously constructed for the SPTA:

Radial graph for south of Doncaster.

Hopefully, it should be apparent that this field system is much less strongly aligned on a pair of perpendicular bearings.  I think that there is some north-south / east-west bias, but the pattern is much less strong than that seen in the SPTA results.

Chris Green

Author: Chris Green

Postdoctoral Researcher (GIS)

7 thoughts on “Field system orientation (II)”

  1. The visual survival of these particular field systems is quite fragmentary (in excavations they do continue into the adjacent areas of different geology but were not picked up in the NMP aerial photography) so this may be why the results seem more diffuse?. I always understood that there were key regional boundaries within which the field systems were often contained and that this will skew the orientational axis of the field-systems. At the most obvious level these are the terminal reeves on Dartmoor etc, or other ‘prehistoric’ boundaries such as dyke systems. You may have better luck using some of the N Yorks data, also where the topography is more pronounced too?

    1. Yep, I’m sure that that is the case to some extent. I’ll probably look at an area with more rugged topography next, yes, so North Yorks is a good idea: in that instance, I would expect orientations to be even more varied over the whole region, but perhaps with some strong local bias effects. We shall see!

      1. Oh, I need to redraw the bits I do anyway to make this work, even with the CAD data, so that’s not really a problem. The main issue would be deciding which bits genuinely fall within our time period, I expect. And yep, the older bits of the N Yorks NMP seems to be largely in the Dales.

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