Continuity of identity and landscape: Court tombs and wedge tombs in northwest Ireland
Springs, Kurt David
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This research demonstrates that there is strong evidence that Irish wedge tombs were constructed and used by the same culture groups that built the court tombs. Much of the data used in this dissertation was collected during the fieldwork carried out for this author's masters research in a study area that included the Irish counties of southern Donegal, northern Leitrim, Sligo, northeastern Mayo, and the Northern Irish county of western Fermanagh (Springs 2003). That data has been subjected to a more in depth analysis, including regional landscape, geology, proximity to other monuments, pollen diagrams, and tomb orientation (archaeoastronomy). In addition, comparisons are made to the modern megalithic culture of the Merina of Madagascar. DNA research that places the arrival of the earliest ancestors of the modern Irish to the Mesolithic (9000 BC) is considered. Artifacts from recently excavated wedge tombs and court tombs are compared. GIS data is more extensively used in this research, making use of Thiessen polygons and calculating regional centers for wedge tombs and court tombs. While much changed between wedge and court tombs, the similarities are pronounced.