Introduction to Prehistoric Scotland

Introduction to Prehistoric Scotland

Ring of Brodgar
[Brodgar Ring]
Around 7,000 BC the first people began to arrive in Scotland probably moving north from England, eventually into all of Scotland but mostly on the coasts. It was during the Mesolithic Era that Man first made his appearance. Just over 20 years ago a discovery proved the earliest human site yet unearthed in Scotland at Kinloch, on the Island of Rum (Rhum). It is the oldest Mesolithic (middle stone age) site yet discovered, dating back nearly 9,000 years. Some 140,000 stone tools have been discovered, including arrowheads, scrapers, awls, blades, and flakes. As suspected, Mesolithic Man did use flint, but only small sized flint was found; the majority of good cutting and knappping stone was Bloodstone, which has similar properties to flint. This made Rum somewhat rare, as good quality stone for tools was difficult to obtain in Scotland in any adequate amount.

These early settlers (initially few from the Mesolithic and later more in the Neolithic Eras) came to Scotland as hunter-gatherers, and didn't become an agricultural society until the end of the Mesolithic or beginning of the Neolithic Era. They were nomadic and settlements thus discovered indicate a people who rarely traveled deep into the interior of Scotland.

More on this in the next two chapters and the rest of Scottish history, in the new ONLINE Book - "The Story of Scotland". (coming soon...)

  • Ch.1, Mesolithic Scotland

  • Ch.2, Neolithic Scotland

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