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Boundary patterning

Entryway Patterning

Entryways are associated with phosphate patterning where increases in phosphate content flank either side of an area of relatively low phosphate levels (Yerkes et al. 2007: 865).  Entryways create this pattern as a result of debris collecting against the exterior of walls on either side of a cleared entry.  The phosphate increases on either side of the entryway can continue along the exterior of the structure, can extend away from the structure flanking the path by which the structure is accessed or can occur only as isolated increases in phosphate content directly beside the entrance.  

The association of this patterning with entryways was proved at the site of an Early Copper Age settlement in southeastern Hungary by Yerkes et al. (2007).  At this site, voids in the relatively high phosphate levels around the perimeter of the site were interpreted as the entrances by which the site was accessed.  Excavation was able to associate this patterning with breaks in the circular earthwork that enclosed the site by which the site was accessed (Yerkes et al. 2007: 865).


Pattern Maps and Interpretations

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Entryway patterning on the Dun Kilmore headland

This formation of entryway patterning is visible on Dun Kilmore in the phosphate patterning where the largest concentration of phosphates within the defended area of the promontory was found (Figure 5). Two areas of relatively high phosphate levels (Level 4 and Level 3.5) flank an area of relatively lower phosphate level (Level 1.75), surrounded by a large area of increased phosphate level (Level 3).  The pattern is indicative of the entrance to a structure, where material was building up along the structure’s walls and to a smaller extent in the general area surrounding the building while the entryway was being kept clear.  Several large blocks of dressed stones are present in this area, in no obvious configuration, a further indication of the possibility of a structure.  The actual location of a structure associated with the increased phosphate levels and stones may be partially or entirely lost due to heavy erosion along the southern cliff-edge of the headland.  The presence of a stone structure along the southern cliff-edge of the headland was noted in early site surveys (Westropp 1919), and was at that time almost completely eroded.

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Entryway patterning leading to the identified structure patterning at French Azilum

In this instance, entryway patterning is visible beside the identified structure pattern in the yard area of the La Porte House.  The marked difference between the background level of the areas to the northeast and southwest of the entryway patterning suggests a marked difference in land-use.  The break in the Level 5 background indicates that an entryway was present between the two land-uses.  In this case, it is likely the entrance to a structure and possible yard area (discussed in Structure Patterning) and indicates how the area was accessed.  The positioning of the entrance of this possible structure away from the La Porte House  allows for further interpretations of on-site sociocultural dynamics.

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Entryway patterning at the terminus of the identified pathway at French Azilum

This entryway pattern is present in the area between the terminus of the identified pathway and the area identified as the possible location of a small yard and structure.  It is possible that the pathway connected this structure and associated yard area with the slave's cabin, the foundation for which is now exposed. The alignment of this pathway with the slave cabin and identified structure/outbuilding  is an indication of how the slaves working on the LaPorte farmstead created and used their own landscape(s) with a larger land-use framework.

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Entryway patterning leading to the exposed stairs and foundation of the slave's cabin at French Azilum

The area directly surrounding the exposed slave quarters shows a general increase to a base-level of 3, with greater increases along the western edge of the study area.  The manner in which this patterning is associated with the stone structure is unclear due to the excavation of the foundation.  The records do not intimate the boundary of the excavated area.  An entryway to the foundation is clearly evident in the patterning along the southeastern edge of the cabin.  Stairs leading down to the basement area are located in this area.  The presence of an entryway manifests in phosphate patterning through the presence of a decrease in phosphate content within the physical entryway, and increases in phosphate content on either side.  This occurs because entryways are kept clear of debris to facilitate access, while discarded and displaced organic material collected against either side of the entryway.  Two areas of entryway patterning are also evident along the western edge of the slave quarters and the foundation-less feature.

Johanna Ullrich, Ph.D.