Cambridge Archaeological Journal

Divided Places: Phenomenology and Asymmetry in the Monuments of the Black Mountains, Southeast Wales

Vicki  Cummings  a1, Andrew  Jones  a2 and Aaron  Watson  a3
a1 School of History and Archaeology, Cardiff University, P.O. Box 909, Cardiff, CF10 3XU, Wales;
a2 Department of Archaeology, University of Southampton, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK .
a3 Department of Archaeology, University of Reading, Whiteknights, P.O. Box 218, Reading, RG6 6AA, UK .


Recent years have seen increasing interest in the experience of prehistoric monuments. This article explores the possibility that the construction and experience of early Neolithic chambered cairns in South Wales was grounded in principles of asymmetry and sidedness. This was reflected in their landscape setting, architecture, and was actively drawn on through time in patterns of structured deposition. Ultimately, we conclude that the differences between symmetry and asymmetry may have played an integral role in the conception of place in the British Neolithic.

(Received November 3 2000)
(Revised May 23 2001)

Key Words: prehistoric monuments; Neolithic cairns; Black Mountains, Wales; British Neolithic; prehistoric symmetry.