MHG37347 - Lithic Scatter - Scalpay 3


A lithic scatter, perhaps extending an area 60m by 50m, was recorded eroding out of an old ground surface on a raised beach at Scalpay. It was assessed during the Scotland's First Settlers Project as an early prehistoric site (Mesolithic/Neolithic).

Type and Period (1)

  • LITHIC SCATTER (Mesolithic to Neolithic - 8000 BC? to 2401 BC?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Created automatically by NMRS Register Utility
User: Admin, Date: Wed 13 Oct 2004
NG52NE 29 5883 2920

The following sites were recorded between October 1999 and May 2000 as part of the Scotland's First Settlers Project (DES 1999, 49-50):
NG 5883 2920 Scalpay 3 Lithic scatter.
A full report has been lodged with the NMRS.
K Hardy and C Wickham-Jones 2000

This site was identified and investigated by the Scotland's First Settlers Project. It comprisesd an open air lithic scatter site situated on an eroding distinct raised beach platform. Five 1m test pits and three 0.25m test pits were excavated down to the natural beach surface. The depth of the pits varied between 0.1m and 0.3m, due to the deflated and eroded ground surface. There were 152 lithics. Over half were of quartz and quartzite, most of the rest were of chalcedonic silica and there were 10 pieces of Rùm bloodstone. There was also one piece of volcanic glass. Most of the assemblage was debitage but there were 34 regular flakes, two blades and six retouched pieces (three scrapers, two broken pieces and a piece with miscellaneous microlithic retouch). The lithics indicated activity in the earlier part of prehistory, though it is not possible to tie them in to a specific period. There is broad evidence for both the manufacture of tools, using mainly local materials, and for tool use. <1>

Presumably part of the same lithic scatter, an old ground surface containing flaked stone artefacts was noted during walkover survey, centred on NG 5886 2922. Having a west and south-westerly aspect, the site has revealed a range of stone material types ultilised by the prehistoric communities visiting this site including chalcedonic silicas (including flint), quartz, quartzite and Rum bloodstone. Mainly consisting of small fraction debitage, the assemblage collected from this site includes scrapers and struck blades, although these are not diagnostic to any particular period.
A drainage ditch 20 metres south-east of the platform has also produced lithic material, along with smaller eroded areas to the east. Therefore, the area from which artefacts have been recovered is approximately 60.0 metres N-S by 50.0 metres E-W. Considering the locality of the site on the raised beach platform and the types ofraw material utilised, the chipped stone assemblage may be early prehistoric in date. <2>

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred NG 5884 2921 (60m by 60m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NG52NE
Geographical Area SKYE AND LOCHALSH
Civil Parish STRATH

Finds (4)

  • DEBITAGE (Undated)
  • FLAKE (Undated)
  • BLADE (Undated)
  • SCRAPER (TOOL) (Undated)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (2)

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