Little House in the Mountains? A small Mesolithic structure from the Cairngorm Mountains, Scotland

Graeme Warren (Lead / Corresponding author), Shannon Fraser, Ann Clarke, Killian Driscoll, Wishart Mitchell, Gordon Noble, Danny Paterson, Rick Schulting, Richard Tipping, Annemieke Verbaas, Clare Wilson, Caroline Wickham-Jones

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Abstract

This paper describes a small Mesolithic structure from the Cairngorm Mountains, Scotland. Excavations at Caochanan Ruadha identified a small oval structure (c. 3. m. ×. 2.2. m) with a central fire setting, in an upland valley (c.540. m. asl). The site was occupied at c. 8200. cal. BP and demonstrates hunter-gatherer use of the uplands during a period of significant climatic deterioration. The interpretation of the structure is primarily based on the distribution of the lithic assemblage, as the heavily podsolised soils have left no trace of light structural features. The lithic assemblage is specialised, dominated by microlith fragments, and functional analysis has identified different uses of different areas inside the structure. The identification of small, specialised Mesolithic sites is unusual and this paper will discuss the evidence for the presence of the structure and its use, compare it to other Mesolithic structures in Britain and highlight some methodological implications.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Early online date12 Jan 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Jan 2018

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functional analysis
Mesolithic
Scotland
Mountains
interpretation
evidence
Uplands
Lithic Assemblages
Functional Analysis
Soil
Deterioration
Hunter-gatherers
Microliths
Excavation

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Warren, Graeme ; Fraser, Shannon ; Clarke, Ann ; Driscoll, Killian ; Mitchell, Wishart ; Noble, Gordon ; Paterson, Danny ; Schulting, Rick ; Tipping, Richard ; Verbaas, Annemieke ; Wilson, Clare ; Wickham-Jones, Caroline. / Little House in the Mountains? A small Mesolithic structure from the Cairngorm Mountains, Scotland. In: Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. 2018.
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abstract = "This paper describes a small Mesolithic structure from the Cairngorm Mountains, Scotland. Excavations at Caochanan Ruadha identified a small oval structure (c. 3. m. ×. 2.2. m) with a central fire setting, in an upland valley (c.540. m. asl). The site was occupied at c. 8200. cal. BP and demonstrates hunter-gatherer use of the uplands during a period of significant climatic deterioration. The interpretation of the structure is primarily based on the distribution of the lithic assemblage, as the heavily podsolised soils have left no trace of light structural features. The lithic assemblage is specialised, dominated by microlith fragments, and functional analysis has identified different uses of different areas inside the structure. The identification of small, specialised Mesolithic sites is unusual and this paper will discuss the evidence for the presence of the structure and its use, compare it to other Mesolithic structures in Britain and highlight some methodological implications.",
author = "Graeme Warren and Shannon Fraser and Ann Clarke and Killian Driscoll and Wishart Mitchell and Gordon Noble and Danny Paterson and Rick Schulting and Richard Tipping and Annemieke Verbaas and Clare Wilson and Caroline Wickham-Jones",
note = "The UDTP partners are grateful for financial assistance received from National Trust for Scotland, Aberdeenshire Council, Society of Antiquaries of London, Robert Kiln Charitable Trust, Royal Archaeological Institute and Tony Clark Memorial Fund. The functional analysis was supported by a grant from the UCD College of Social Science and Law.",
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Warren, G, Fraser, S, Clarke, A, Driscoll, K, Mitchell, W, Noble, G, Paterson, D, Schulting, R, Tipping, R, Verbaas, A, Wilson, C & Wickham-Jones, C 2018, 'Little House in the Mountains? A small Mesolithic structure from the Cairngorm Mountains, Scotland', Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2017.11.021

Little House in the Mountains? A small Mesolithic structure from the Cairngorm Mountains, Scotland. / Warren, Graeme (Lead / Corresponding author); Fraser, Shannon; Clarke, Ann; Driscoll, Killian; Mitchell, Wishart; Noble, Gordon; Paterson, Danny; Schulting, Rick; Tipping, Richard; Verbaas, Annemieke; Wilson, Clare; Wickham-Jones, Caroline.

In: Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 12.01.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Warren, Graeme

AU - Fraser, Shannon

AU - Clarke, Ann

AU - Driscoll, Killian

AU - Mitchell, Wishart

AU - Noble, Gordon

AU - Paterson, Danny

AU - Schulting, Rick

AU - Tipping, Richard

AU - Verbaas, Annemieke

AU - Wilson, Clare

AU - Wickham-Jones, Caroline

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N2 - This paper describes a small Mesolithic structure from the Cairngorm Mountains, Scotland. Excavations at Caochanan Ruadha identified a small oval structure (c. 3. m. ×. 2.2. m) with a central fire setting, in an upland valley (c.540. m. asl). The site was occupied at c. 8200. cal. BP and demonstrates hunter-gatherer use of the uplands during a period of significant climatic deterioration. The interpretation of the structure is primarily based on the distribution of the lithic assemblage, as the heavily podsolised soils have left no trace of light structural features. The lithic assemblage is specialised, dominated by microlith fragments, and functional analysis has identified different uses of different areas inside the structure. The identification of small, specialised Mesolithic sites is unusual and this paper will discuss the evidence for the presence of the structure and its use, compare it to other Mesolithic structures in Britain and highlight some methodological implications.

AB - This paper describes a small Mesolithic structure from the Cairngorm Mountains, Scotland. Excavations at Caochanan Ruadha identified a small oval structure (c. 3. m. ×. 2.2. m) with a central fire setting, in an upland valley (c.540. m. asl). The site was occupied at c. 8200. cal. BP and demonstrates hunter-gatherer use of the uplands during a period of significant climatic deterioration. The interpretation of the structure is primarily based on the distribution of the lithic assemblage, as the heavily podsolised soils have left no trace of light structural features. The lithic assemblage is specialised, dominated by microlith fragments, and functional analysis has identified different uses of different areas inside the structure. The identification of small, specialised Mesolithic sites is unusual and this paper will discuss the evidence for the presence of the structure and its use, compare it to other Mesolithic structures in Britain and highlight some methodological implications.

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DO - 10.1016/j.jasrep.2017.11.021

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JO - Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports

JF - Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports

SN - 2352-409X

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