Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Member

P. Ramsden


This thesis endeavours to reconstruct and interpret the cultural landscape of the Lower Barrow River Valley in southeastern Ireland, focusing primarily upon the creation of sacred landscapes. Through an examination of the placement of monuments in the valley over a period of 6,000 years (4500 Be to AD 1500), two multi-period complexes of primarily sacred prehistoric sites have been identified. This identification was achieved through the construction of highly detailed distribution maps. These maps facilitated both the statistical analysis of relationships between monuments and aspects of the natural landscape and a more subjective interpretation of the spatial relationships between different monument types over the time period in question. Whereas numerous correlations between monument types and particular aspects of the natural landscape have been identified, the spatial associations between different monuments and larger geographical features such as the Barrow River, Brandon Hill and the Pass of Gowran proved to be crucial in the creation of sacred landscapes.

McMaster University Library

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