Show Navigation

Mesolithic

Stone Objects

Lithic Scatter, Maxwellfield

Period:
Mesolithic
Description:

Flints, quartz and chert, including microliths, have been found on top of the raised beach on Maxwellfield farm.

 

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.

 

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


Cormack, W F (1964a) 'Mossyard', Discovery Excav Scot
Page(s): 34

Cormack, W F (1965e) 'Maxwellfield, microliths', Discovery Excav Scot
Page(s): 25

PSAS (1979) 'Donations to and purchases for the Museum and Library', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, vol.108
Page(s): 384, No.1


 

Place of Discovery:
Maxwellfield
Source:
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
1967.405.3, 1967.405.6
Digital Number:
RPD0017
RCAHMS site record: