Navigations and directions

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Navigations and directions

Postby Boreades » 10:40 pm

When we start staring at maps for clues about old Trade Routes, especially ones that go in straight lines, it’s very easy for wishful thinking to set in, and we start clutching at straws. Look, that phonebox is on the line!

So the kind of qualitative questions that bother us are:
- how wide can a line be?
- what kind of places are cause and what kind are effect?
- why are so many old-places in the West and why are there a lot less in the East?

For example, if the line is 10m wide the degree of precision becomes extraordinarily demanding. If it's 10Km wide, et voila, it's a sweeping brush that covers everything in its path. (Cue arguments about how wide the line can be to be statistically valid)
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Re: Navigations and directions

Postby Boreades » 10:41 pm

Next - causes and effects. If you say you want to start from strategic point A (let's say a megalithic hilltop near Penzance) and go to a strategic point B (err, some other significant hill top some way east of Penzance), well of course you've got to cross streams and rivers. Do it enough times and you will do the obvious to avoid getting thirsty with wet feet at the same time. Like build fords and bridges, and tap natural springs to make wells and watering troughs. The fact that these fords, bridges, All Saints/ Michael churches, etc appear later close to the trade route is an effect, not a cause of the trade route. Think how sandwich and coffee shops spring up on commuter routes, or how come service stations are positioned where they are.
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Re: Navigations and directions

Postby Boreades » 10:44 pm

So, where are these strategic places?

Image

Hmm, can’t see anything yet.
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Re: Navigations and directions

Postby Boreades » 10:47 pm

What we need is a trade navigation map. But we’ll have to make our own. Let’s start by putting on the hilltop enclosures and trade ports we know about, in Cornwall.

Image

Now we can’t see the wood for the trees.
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Re: Navigations and directions

Postby Boreades » 10:49 pm

Let’s try zooming in on the western end of Cornwall.

Image

Suddenly, an interesting pattern starts to emerge. Hill enclosures and coastal trade points seem to have a curious “trinity”, with triplets, or three neighbouring sites in alignment.
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Re: Navigations and directions

Postby Boreades » 10:52 pm

Is this just in Western Cornwall?
Here’s mid-Cornwall.

Image

Well, there are some interesting Triplet Alignments, but is there anything really significant? Difficult to say. Let’s go further east.
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Re: Navigations and directions

Postby Boreades » 10:54 pm

Getting closer to Devon, we know there were lots of cross-country trade routes. Where might they have been? North-South routes matter, for avoiding bad weather round Lands End. East-West routes matter, for moving raw metal ores further east to refining and retail sites.
Don’t forget, this is only joining sites that have a good alignment of at least three sites.

Image
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Re: Navigations and directions

Postby Boreades » 10:56 pm

Getting round Dartmoor is a logistical problem, and there are primary ports in the south. So the triplets veer south, and then head north east towards Somerset and Dorset.

Image
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Re: Navigations and directions

Postby Boreades » 10:58 pm

Suddenly, as we move into Dorset, Wiltshire and Hampshire, the pattern of triplets starts to change.

Image

It seems to be aligned with a trade network based between Hengistbury and Avebury.
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Re: Navigations and directions

Postby Boreades » 8:49 pm

Has anyone spotted the basic building-block in the pattern yet?
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