Haul of hundreds of hunter gatherer tools sheds light on Scotland’s earliest residents

Date:

Share post:

The discovery of 700 pieces of stone tool used by hunter gatherers up to 12,000 years ago has shed new light on some of Scotland’s earliest residents. The finds were made by archaeologists working around the River Tay estuary just south of Perth.

Haul of hundreds of hunter gatherer tools sheds light on Scotland's earliest residents
Credit: The Scotsman

The pieces, found on Freeland Farm, date to somewhere between 9,800BC and 4,000BC and are made of local carnelian stone.

The scale of the find suggests that the area was home to a several small settlements close to the river with the tools used for hunting, skinning as well as processing animal meat and skins for food, clothes, bedding and tents.




Experts believe the use of the distinctive brown-coloured material for the tools could have come to define the identity of the people who used them.

Archaeologist Torben Ballin, a co-author of the report into the finds, said: “It is difficult to say how the Mesolithic people of Freeland Farm perceived their carnelian, but it is likely that the brown colour had special meaning to them, for example as a means of identifying themselves as belonging to a specific social group.

Haul of hundreds of hunter gatherer tools sheds light on Scotland's earliest residents
More than 700 pieces of tool were found at the River Tay estuary south of Perth with the site likely home
to a number of settlements of hunter gatherers [Credit: ARO via The Scotsman]

“They may have seen themselves, and been seen by hunter-gatherer groups in neighbouring territories, as ‘those with brown tool kits’, just like people on Arran may have seen themselves as ‘those with black tool kits’ and people on Rhum as ‘those with green tool kits’.”

The project followed on from earlier work by Dundee University and investigated large parts of the lower-lying fields of the Tay estuary..




The team identified areas where hunting, fishing and gathering was likely to have taken place by a mobile Mesolithic population, with the search for artefacts then launched.

A total of 707 pieces of stone tools were found in fields at what is now Freeland Farm with the haul containing broadblades, microblades, scrapers and burins.

Haul of hundreds of hunter gatherer tools sheds light on Scotland's earliest residents
The finds were made at Freeland Farm near Perth, marked here on the bottom
left hand side of the map [Credit: ARO via The Scotsman]

The volume of artefacts founds and the way they were scattered across most of the site suggest the entire area may have been visited and revisited over a long period.

A large number of individual small settlements may once have been found here, it is believed.

The findings come as part of The Early Settlers Project, which involved local people in finding out more about the prehistory of the River Tay. Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust was also involved. The report into the project has been published by Archaeology Reports Online.

Author: Alison Campsie | Source: The Scotsman [August 09, 2019]

ADVERTISEMENT

spot_img

Related articles

Researchers uncover more on the use of salt as an ancient Maya commodity

The first documented record of salt as an ancient Maya commodity at a marketplace is depicted in a...

Roman Castrum in SE Romania town to be ‘rebuilt’ with EU money

The local authorities of Ovidiu, a town in Constanta county, in South-Eastern Romania, have obtained EU funding worth...

Excavations of The University of Cyprus at the Laona tumulus

The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works has announced the completion of the University of...

New section of the Domitian Way discovered in southern France

Archaeologists from the Inrap (National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research) have discovered a new section of the oldest...

Afghanistan rebuilds Buddhist statues

When the Taliban controlled Afghanistan a decade ago, they were fanatical about eliminating everything they considered un-Islamic.  The world's...

Medieval cemetery discovered in France

A cemetery dating back to the Middle Ages has been discovered at a building site in Bas-et-Lezat, a...

Medieval burial ground found at Westminster Abbey

The bones of men who may have witnessed the tumultuous events of 1066 in Westminster Abbey, when one...

Ancient Greek city discovered on Turkey’s west coast

An ancient city believed to date back 2,700 years has been discovered in Turkey's western Çanakkale province after...