Little House in the Mountains? A small Mesolithic structure from the Cairngorm Mountains, Scotland

Graeme Warren (Lead / Corresponding author), Shannon Fraser, Ann Clarke, Killian Driscoll, Wishart Mitchell, Gordon Noble, Danny Paterson, Rick Schulting, Richard Tipping, Annemieke Verbaas, Clare Wilson, Caroline Wickham-Jones

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    14 Citations (Scopus)
    414 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    This paper describes a small Mesolithic structure from the Cairngorm Mountains, Scotland. Excavations at Caochanan Ruadha identified a small oval structure (c. 3. m. ×. 2.2. m) with a central fire setting, in an upland valley (c.540. m. asl). The site was occupied at c. 8200. cal. BP and demonstrates hunter-gatherer use of the uplands during a period of significant climatic deterioration. The interpretation of the structure is primarily based on the distribution of the lithic assemblage, as the heavily podsolised soils have left no trace of light structural features. The lithic assemblage is specialised, dominated by microlith fragments, and functional analysis has identified different uses of different areas inside the structure. The identification of small, specialised Mesolithic sites is unusual and this paper will discuss the evidence for the presence of the structure and its use, compare it to other Mesolithic structures in Britain and highlight some methodological implications.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)936-945
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports
    Volume18
    Early online date12 Jan 2018
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Archaeology
    • History
    • Archaeology

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