Orientations of linear stone arrangements in New South Wales

Duane W. Hamacher*, Robert S. Fuller, Ray P. Norris

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


We test the hypothesis that Aboriginal linear stone arrangements in New South Wales are oriented along cardinal directions. We accomplish this by measuring the azimuths of stone arrangements described on site cards held in the New South Wales Aboriginal Heritage Information Management System. We find a preference recorded on the site cards for cardinal orientations among azimuths. We then survey a subset of these sites to test the accuracy of the information recorded on the site cards. The field surveys show that the site cards are reasonably accurate, but the surveyors probably did not correct for magnetic declinations. Using Monte Carlo statistics, we show that these preferred orientations did not occur by chance and that Aboriginal people deliberately aligned these arrangements to the approximate cardinal directions. We briefly explore possible reasons for these preferred orientations and highlight the need for future work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-54
Number of pages9
JournalAustralian Archaeology
Issue number75
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


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