Wickham-Jones, C. R., Shepherd, A. N., Clarke, A., Finlayson, B., Hirons, K. R., Sutherland, D. and Zetterlund, P., (1990). Rhum. Mesolithic and later sites at Kinloch: excavations 1984-86. Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. https://doi.org/10.5284/1000184.

Title
Title
The title of the publication or report
Title:
Rhum. Mesolithic and later sites at Kinloch: excavations 1984-86
Series
Series
The series the publication or report is included in
Series:
Society of Antiquaries of Scotland Monograph Series
Volume
Volume
Volume number and part
Volume:
7
Pages
Pages
The number of pages in the publication or report
Number of Pages:
183
Downloads
Downloads
Any files associated with the publication or report that can be downloaded from the ADS
Downloads:
Mono7.pdf (17 MB) : Download
DOI
DOI
The DOI (digital object identifier) for the publication or report.
DOI
https://doi.org/10.5284/1000184
Publication Type
Publication Type
The type of publication - report, monograph, journal article or chapter from a book
Publication Type:
Monograph Chapter (in Series)
Author
Author
The authors of this publication or report
Author:
Caroline R Wickham-Jones
Alexandra N Shepherd
Andrew Clarke
Bill Finlayson
Kenneth R Hirons
Donald Sutherland
P Zetterlund
Publisher
Publisher
The publisher of the publication or report
Publisher:
Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
Other Person/Org
Other Person/Org
Other people or organisations for this publication or report
Other Person/Org:
Simon Butler (Author contributing)
Gordon T Cook (Author contributing)
Donald A Davidson (Author contributing)
Andrew J Dugmore (Author contributing)
G Durant (Author contributing)
Kevin J Edwards (Author contributing)
D A Griffiths (Author contributing)
D Jordan (Author contributing)
M Kemp (Author contributing)
S Lee (Author contributing)
B Maker (Author contributing)
S Mccarten (Author contributing)
Year of Publication
Year of Publication
The year the book, article or report was published
Year of Publication:
1990
ISBN
ISBN
International Standard Book Number
ISBN:
0 903903 07 5
Note
Note
Extra information on the publication or report.
Note:
Date Of Issue From: 1990
Source
Source
Where the record has come from or which dataset it was orginally included in.
Source:
DigitalBorn
Related resources
Related resources
Other resources which are relevant to this publication or report
Relations:
Created Date
Created Date
The date the record of the pubication was first entered
Created Date:
05 Dec 2008
Chapter Title Sort Order Both Arrows Access Type Author / Editor Page
Start/End Sort Order Up Arrow
Abstract
3
The 7th millennium BC site is the earliest so far found in Scotland. Pits and hollows contained a range of lithic tools and materials derived from their use, and stakeholes and slots could have provided windbreaks or more substantial structures. The lithic materials were carefully selected from various local sources and worked using adaptive technology (such as bipolar reduction) to deal with intractable materials, often bloodstone. Spatial analysis suggested that separate areas of the site were differentiated in some way, but the pattern was confused by long occupation. Year-round rather than seasonal occupation may have occurred, but there was a wide network of contacts within the NW Scottish coast and islands. Full analysis of the lithic material is presented. The assemblage need not relate to Jacobi's scheme for England; Rhum may be just one facet of a heterogeneous Meso pattern. There were also scanty remains of Neo activity, late 2nd or early 3rd millennium BC.
21
A brief outline of the contents of the volume and the conventions employed.
22 - 26
This chapter presents information on the site location, topography and historical background along with the circumstances of the discovery and the site potential. Prior to the recent excavations there was no unequivocal evidence for occupation of Rhum before the 4th millennium BC.
Simon Butler
27 - 35
This chapter presents an account of the sampling and excavation strategy over three seasons, the underwater survey, artefact analysis and database structure. There is also an explanation of why use-wear analysis was not carried out.
36 - 50
The aim of the first season was to locate and assess the nature of the site. A clear concentration was identified in one area. Excavation revealed features whose location coincided exactly with the lithic scatter. These demonstrated a Mesolithic site with some continuity into the Neolithic although no definite features of the latter period were identified. Early Mesolithic radiocarbon dates were obtained. Truncation of the site and therefore preservation was variable.
D A Griffiths
Donald Sutherland
51 - 56
The predominant materials are flint and bloodstone. Agate, quart, silicified limestone and volcanic glass are all present in smaller quantities. Chemical analysis and thin-sectioning were carried out to distinguish flint from bloodstone. The use of any flint seems surprising in view of the free availability of bloodstone on the island. But the flint was generally of better quality than the bloodstone, and thus more suited to the production of some of the artefacts. The evidence indicates that a pebble source of flint was used (probably beach pebbles), but flint was clearly not as abundant as bloodstone. Both flint and bloodstone were available locally and they were supplemented by a small quantity of other local siliceous rocks.
57 - 63
The excavations yielded an assemblage of 138, 043 pieces of worked stone which represents only a fraction of the stone debris that littered the site as a result of the manufacture and use of stone tools throughout its prehistoric occupation. Items included pebbles, cores, blades, flakes, chunks, microliths, scrapers and arrowheads. The initial classification suggested that the site contained evidence for both the manufacture and the use of stone tools. The evidence for manufacture consisted of the quantities of knapping debris, cores, core trimming and rejuvenation flakes, irregular flakes and chinks. Evidence for use lay in the modified artefacts and in the blades and regular flakes many of which were doubtless used without modification. The modified artefacts included scrapers, borers, bifacial points, and a variety of microliths. A number of factors suggested that some of these, at least, had been used.
P Zetterlund
64 - 86
A technological study is concerned with the analysis of the techniques and methods used to reduce lithic material to blanks and tools. Although the basic reduction techniques were similar, there are a number of differences between the Mesolithic assemblage and the later material. The later assemblage contains less flint; it includes disc cores, which do not occur in any Mesolithic context on site; and, though both flakes and blades were present in both assemblages, the flakes in the later contexts are somewhat different. The characteristics of the later flakes suggest they were deliberately produced, unlike those from the Mesolithic sample which were apparently a by-product of blade manufacture. The later material contains very few modified artefacts, but the same basic types are present in both samples. Both assemblages contain a range of microlithic and non-microlithic tools.
Sinead McCartan
87 - 102
A total of 1608 pieces were modified after primary flaking. The strategy for modification was always retouching (ie the removal of small flakes from the original blank), probably through an antler tine. In addition, some light percussion was used to modify flakes, particular when a steeper edge angle was required as on many of the scrapers. Each of the types is discussed though it is stressed that the identification of types is based solely on technological and morphological information only. Only a small proportion of the blades and flakes that were manufactured were modified.
103 - 116
This chapter is concerned with the period of time between the manufacture of the assemblage and its incorporation into the archaeological deposits. It includes analysis of both the function and deposition of the assemblage and the nature of the relationship between the recovered assemblage and the assemblage that was originally deposited. Although the artefactual deposits were composed primarily of knapping debris, the evidence does not suggest that Kinloch was primarily a production site. Production was geared towards the manufacture of blades and modified tools based on blades, and a number of other morphological tool types were made. There is evidence that at least some of these tools were used for a range of tasks, and the different patterns of the tools across the site suggest that particular activities were concentrated in separate areas. The interpretation of these patterns is problematical as, although a variety of features was examined, the level of truncation and the long period of use of the site make the detailed association of the artefact patterns with stratified features difficult. Furthermore, the present analysis cannot suggest whether the activities carried out on site involved the maintenance, use, or curation of tools.
Ann Clarke
M Kemp
Andrew J Dugmore
Caroline R Wickham-Jones
117 - 131
An assemblage of 61 water worn pebbles or cobbles were classified according to type and location of wear and modification present. The tools included hammerstones, bevelled pebbles, anvils, manuports and a possible polisher. The Neolithic pottery comprised 299, probably redeposited, sherds. Eleven pieces of pumice, a very small quantity of calcined bone and two shell fragments were also found.
Gordon T Cook
E Marian Scott
Kenneth R Hirons
132 - 136
Four of the radiocarbon determinations all date features that provide the earliest evidence, so far, for the human settlement of Scotland. A further five come from similar features and suggest Mesolithic occupation over a period of time. Four dates relate to Neolithic activity. Between the Mesolithic and Neolithic the site was apparently abandoned, but the environmental record does show signs of human influence, suggesting the presence of people within the area. The remaining dates relate to the environmental history of the area.
Kenneth R Hirons
137 - 143
In the early postglacial period a highly dynamic environment was produced in the Hebrides by a combination of exposure, climatic change, fluctuations in sea level, and rapidly changing vegetation. This changing environment must have imposed various stresses on the resource base of the early inhabitants of Kinloch and thus on their survival strategies. To examine it an integrated series of palaeoecological and palaeoenvironmental studies were carried out in conjunction with the archaeological investigations.
Donald Sutherland
144 - 148
A number of separate studies were carried out to define the processes responsible for the formation of the site, and possible subsequent modification: the geomorphology and history of sea-level change of the area, the sediments immediately underlying the site and the soil development in the area of the site. A number of factors relating to the location and format of the site may be considered to have played a positive role in its selection as an occupation area.
Ann Clarke
D A Griffiths
149 - 156
Although not fully confirmed by geological provenancing, the available evidence does suggest that Bloodstone Hill, Rhum was the only prehistoric source of bloodstone. Given this assumption, and though the archaeological evidence is not abundant, certain patterns are discernible. The use of bloodstone extended over a long period of time (from the Mesolithic into the Bronze Age). Bloodstone was the only one of a number of lithic resources available throughout the area, but it was the only raw material likely to have been collected from any distance. Throughout the period of its use, some slight changes are visible. In the Mesolithic there is more evidence for the on-site manufacture of bloodstone artefacts reflected in the quantities of knapping debris recovered), and as the Mesolithic sites are all (so far) on the Ardnamurchan or Morvern peninsulas there is the possibility that their inhabitants maintained direct access to Rhum and removed raw materials in the form of cores. In this period the exploitation of bloodstone may have been subsidiary to other subsistence activities. In the later periods it seems that bloodstone may have been used more specifically, particularly for retouched artefacts, and it may have been transported as prepared flakes.
157 - 171
The prehistoric remains at Kinloch are associated with two broad periods of human activity, one Mesolithic, the other primarily Neolithic. The Mesolithic remains consist of pits, hollows and stakeholes accompanied by a substantial body of lithic artefactual debris. The Neolithic remains are sparse and with the exception of one small hollow are not solely of anthropogenic origin. For the purposes of interpreting the archaeological evidence they are dealt with as distinctly separate periods. The evidence suggests that the Mesolithic site developed as a result of domestic settlement. Shelters of some type were constructed together with incidental racks and frames. Although hearths were certainly present, no in situ hearths were preserved. The variety of features present most probably reflect a range of functions, but latterly they were used for rubbish disposal. The existence of Neolithic material on site, and the dating of some of the deposits to the late second and early third millennia BC, indicate that the site was re-visited at this time. No structural evidence form this period was located, however, and the material remains are sparse so that it is not possible to interpret the activity that was taking place.
M Kemp
Ann Clarke
Ann Clarke
G Durant
D A Griffiths