Accessibility navigation

Archaeological evidence for the first Mesolithic occupation of the Western Isles of Scotland

Gregory, R. A., Murphy, E. M., Church, M. J., Edwards, K. J., Guttmann, E. B. and Simpson, D. D. A. (2005) Archaeological evidence for the first Mesolithic occupation of the Western Isles of Scotland. Holocene, 15 (7). pp. 944-950. ISSN 0959-6836

Full text not archived in this repository.

It is advisable to refer to the publisher's version if you intend to cite from this work. See Guidance on citing.

To link to this item DOI: 10.1191/0959683605hl868ft


The examination of eroding coastal dunes at the prehistoric site of Northton, Harris, has produced the first archaeological evidence of Mesolithic activity in the Western Isles in the form of two midden-related deposits. The first phase of Mesolithic activity is dated to 7060-6650 cal. Bc based on AMS dating of charred hazelnut shells. This discovery appears to validate the frequent pollen-based inferences of Mesolithic impact for the area and, as predicted, allows the Atlantic fringe of Scotland to become part of the European Mesolithic mainstream. A detailed pedological analysis also suggests that these early midden layers may have been amended during the Neolithic period as part of a possible phase of cultivation.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:3578
Uncontrolled Keywords:Western Isles Scotland Mesolithic Neolithic middens pedological analysis Holocene OUTER-HEBRIDES HUMAN IMPACTS VEGETATION EVOLUTION HISTORY POLLEN
Additional Information:

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

Page navigation