Before Farming

The Mesolithic in Scotland

action archaeology for the twenty-first century

Before Farming (2004), 2004, (1), 1–18.

Abstract

This paper presents an overview of existing information on the Mesolithic in Scotland with two aims: to inform others; and to generate discussion and comparison in order to aid our own interpretations in the light of work elsewhere. The main developments in Mesolithic archaeology in Scotland in the mid twentieth century are presented together with the changes in the situation as we enter the early twenty-first century. From a cultural setting that was generally regarded as poorly developed, and even late in many places, to the general recognition today of a well developed and varied archaeological record that indicates increasingly early settlement at the start of the Holocene, Mesolithic archaeologists in Scotland are now able to make use of many new techniques and have an increasingly rich database at their disposal. What do these developments mean? Where might the Mesolithic of Scotland be going? And how can we learn from our colleagues elsewhere?

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