Accessibility navigation


Settlement patterns in the late Mesolithic of western Scotland: the implications of Bayesian analysis of radiocarbon dates and inter-site technological comparisons

Wicks, K., Pirie, A. and Mithen, S. (2014) Settlement patterns in the late Mesolithic of western Scotland: the implications of Bayesian analysis of radiocarbon dates and inter-site technological comparisons. Journal of Archaeological Science, 41. pp. 406-422. ISSN 0305-4403

Full text not archived in this repository.

To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2013.07.003

Abstract/Summary

The character of settlement patterns within the late Mesolithic communities of north-west Europe is a topic of substantial debate. An important case study concerns the five shell middens on the island of Oronsay, Inner Hebrides, western Scotland. Two conflicting interpretations have been proposed: the evidence from seasonality indicators and stable isotope analysis of human bones has been used to support a model of year-round settlement on this small island; alternatively, the middens have been interpreted as resulting from short-term intermittent visits to Oronsay within a regionally mobile settlement pattern. We contribute to this debate by describing Storakaig, a newly discovered site on the nearby island of Islay, undertaking a Bayesian chronological analysis and providing evidence for technological continuity between Oronsay and sites elsewhere in the region. While this new evidence remains open to alternative interpretation, we suggest that it makes regional mobility rather than year-round settlement on Oronsay a more viable interpretation for the Oronsay middens. Our analysis also confirms the likely overlap of the late Mesolithic with the earliest Neolithic within western Scotland.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Scientific Archaeology
Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Archaeology
ID Code:34464
Uncontrolled Keywords:Late Mesolithic; Year-round settlement; Bayesian chronological modelling; Technology
Publisher:Elsevier

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation