MHG54191 - Lithic scatter, Scalpay 6a


A lithic scatter recorded during walkover survey.

Type and Period (1)

  • LITHIC SCATTER (Mesolithic - 8000 BC to 4001 BC?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

At base of south-west facing slope covered in relict lazy-bed cultivation, and at 7 metres OD, numerous pieces of chipped stone were found. These were recovered from animal rubs, tracks and erosion features, 20 metres south-west of the old wire boundary fence. It is possible that the main centre of the site lies upslope on the 12 metre raised beach platform. The area from which lithics were collected measures approximately 10.0 metres (NW-SE axis) by 8.0 metres, although the actual focus of settlement and the area it covers could not be confirmed during this survey.
The assemblage of struck stone collected from the erosion features comprises chalcedonic silica, quartz, quartzite, rock crystal and Rum bloodstone. The latter material type has its main source on the Hebridean island ofRum, to theouth of Skye. Most of the pieces collected comprised small fraction debitage, although snapped blade fragments and possible crescentic microliths could suggest a Mesolithic date for this site. <1>

An open air lithic scatter site was investigated by the Scotland's First Settlers Project. It was situated at the base of sloping ground with lazy-beds. A surface collection was initially made from ground disturbed by livestock and an eroding animal track and six 1m² test pits were excavated down to the natural beach deposits, which had been washed down-slope. In total, 659 lithics were recovered, of which most were of quartz and quartzite and chalcedonic silica, with the excaption of 16 pieces of Rùm bloodstone, three pieces of baked mudstone, two pieces of volcanic glass and one fragment of flaked coarse stone. Over 500 pieces were debitage, but there were 87 regular flakes, 27 blades, one platform core and ten retouched pieces. The latter included five narrow-blade microliths as well as a scraper, an edge-retouched piece, an awl and two bifacial pieces.
The lithics provide abundant evidence for human activity and the presence of microliths and blades suggests that this site is Mesolithic. Predominantly local raw materials were used and it would seem that both tool manufacture and tool use are represented. <2>

See link below to the published Scottish Archaeological Internet Report 31 for further details.

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred NG 5873 2937 (50m by 50m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NG52NE
Geographical Area SKYE AND LOCHALSH
Civil Parish STRATH

Finds (7)

  • CORE (Mesolithic - 8000 BC? to 4001 BC?)
  • DEBITAGE (Mesolithic - 8000 BC? to 4001 BC?)
  • FLAKE (Mesolithic - 8000 BC? to 4001 BC?)
  • BLADE (Mesolithic - 8000 BC? to 4001 BC?)
  • MICROLITH (Mesolithic - 8000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • SCRAPER (TOOL) (Mesolithic - 8000 BC? to 4001 BC?)
  • AWL (Mesolithic - 8000 BC? to 4001 BC?)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (1)

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