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Mesolithic

Stone Objects

Flint fragments, Auchenmalg

Period:
Mesolithic
Description:

Two fields at Auchenmalg have yielded a scatter of Mesolithic flints on or just below the 50' contour. No flints have been found below circa 35ft. 

 

In an age before metal people used stone to make a sharp edge. The sites where they worked are known as chipping floors, and are sometimes still littered with stone. Some of it is waste, but sometmes broken or lost tools are found. Not all types of stone are suitable for making tools, and the knapper had to choose the raw material carefully. The best stone was of uniform texture and had no cracks or flaws. The hunter gatherers had a good knowledge of the land and they may have visited certain locations to build up reserves of useful rocks.

 

Flint is probably the best known of these rocks, but in Scotland the supply is small. Beach flint from underwater beds off the Isle of Man is common in Wigtownshire, but it becomes progressively scarcer inland.

 

An old cliff line relating to the time of higher sea levels surrounds part of the Galloway peninsula, and many mesolithic sites have been recorded here, particularly around Luce Bay. People settled on the high land above the beach, choosing locations with fresh water and setting up camps in sheltered spots slightly back from the cliff edge. Coastal sites have been traced up the Solway as far as Redkirk Point, near Gretna, where a hearth has been dated to 8000 years before the present. Evidence has also been found for later settlements along the modern day coastline.

 


 

Place of Discovery:
Auchenmalg
Source:
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
1962.35.34-38,1963.50.2-4
Digital Number:
RPD0015
RCAHMS site record:
References:
Coles, J M (1964a) 'New aspects of the mesolithic settlement of South-West Scotland', Trans Dumfriesshire Galloway Natur Hist Antiq Soc, 3rd, vol.41 Page(s): 69


Truckell, A E (1962d) 'Finds and sites, 1961-62', Trans Dumfriesshire Galloway Natur Hist Antiq Soc, 3rd, vol.39 Page(s): 162


Truckell, A E (1963a) 'The Mesolithic in Dumfries and Galloway: recent developments', Trans Dumfriesshire Galloway Natur Hist Antiq Soc, 3rd, vol.40 Page(s): 44


Truckell, A E (1964a) 'The archaeological collections of the Society',Trans Dumfriesshire Galloway Natur Hist Antiq Soc, 3rd, vol.41 Page(s): 56-7


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