Analysis of the orientation of burials within Late Islamic cemeteries shows a consistent range in the axes of such burials between c. 65° and 90° East of North. The practice of burying the deceased with their face towards Mecca is a well-known Islamic tradition long practiced in Israel/Palestine. While this practice was a determining factor in burial orientation, on its own it cannot account for the regular variation in this orientation observed in actual cemeteries. This paper argues that such variation is best explained by taking account of seasonal variation in the azimuth of the sunrise, by which orientation to Mecca was determined.
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