Distribution maps (which it must always be remembered are maps of recognition and recovery) that relate to the late prehistoric and protohistoric periods often show that certain material cultural patterns coincide with certain natural zones. Some of these zones map onto territories defined by protohistoric parameters including certain placename elements and surviving art. Although these broad concordances are well known, smaller scales of study, perhaps particularly in boundary areas could be fruitful.
Networks of trade, communication and political and religious influence also provide a promising research area. In Ireland Tomás Ó Carragáin has made much of this round the edge of Inishmurray and on Inveragh and Dingle connecting the monastic and pre-monastic pilgrim interests (2003; O’Sullivan and Ó Carragáin 2008). There are many obvious foci for similar studies in Scotland such as St Vigeans, Meigle, St Andrews, Whithorn and Applecross. In each case the monastic centre has yet to be studied with its prehistoric context.