MHG7639 - Flint working site, Redpoint


An eroding dune site where over 2000 lithic have been collected from.

Type and Period (1)

  • LITHIC WORKING SITE (Mesolithic to Late Bronze Age - 8000 BC to 551 BC?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

NG76NW 1 727 685.

The remains of a prehistoric stone industry lie scattered in two of three broad gravel bottomed hollows in sand dunes about 20-25 ft. above high water mark on N side of Red Point - NG 726 685-6. Two chipping floors (one concentrated within a very small area, in a hollow about 5 ft below the other two, and with Marram grass, as its only vegetation) on the surface or no more than 3 or 4 inches below it, have largely yielded simple utilised flakes and cores and a few retouched implements of indefinable date. But early finds, some of microlithic aspect, by Dr J S Richardson, the late Maj-Gen. D T Richardson and Mr. J MacIntyre, now in the NMAS - AB 2631, AC 608, 617-632- include a 1 1/4-inch retouched point of mudstone (AC 628), a 'birch-leaf' flint arrowhead (AD 2256) and a small diamond-shaped quartz arrowhead (AD 2257), all appropriate to the Neolithic. The collection of artifacts from this site, and a typescript account of it, donated by A F Gray in 1959-60 to the NMAS has been lost.
A F Gray 1962; Info from R B K Stevenson (NMAS) to OS 29 July 1964. <1><2>

Investigation of this site proved negative. Mr W Bannerman FSA, district road surveyor, Gairloch, present when several of the finds were made, could offer no further informtion.
Visited by OS (E G C) 13 October 1964.

Site name corrected to "Repoint". It is noted that the area of eroding dunes is quite large. <3>

This site was investigated by the the Scotland's First Settlers Project. Redpoint is a site that has long been known to archaeologists interested in the early prehistory of the western Highlands (Gray 1960). It comprised an area of unstable dunes with lithic material visible in the blowouts. Two test pits were dug in the main dune blow out, but there was no depth to the archaeological deposits, and there was no archaeological content except surface finds.
The site is actively eroding and was frequently visited by Steven Birch of the SFS team. Many bags of flaked lithics were collected. A total of 847 lithics have been catalogued from this collection, but as the dune continues to erode every year, further material is collected at each visit and it was not possible to catalogue all of the material collected in the period to 2004 when fieldwork stopped. In the 1980s, however, 1356 lithics from Redpoint held in the National Museums of Scotland collection were catalogued by Ann Clarke. Overall, the lithic assemblage from Redpoint indicates activity in prehistory, including the Mesolithic. Interestingly, the range of raw materials used is well in line with other Mesolithic sites recorded by SFS in the Inner Sound and sea loch areas and this may add weight to putative arguments for a ‘sphere of influence’ perhaps even a territory that stretches as far as Staffin Bay in the north and the island of Rùm in the south. The lack of organic remains on this site is noteworthy. <4>

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

Lithic artefacts from Redpoint are listed in the NMS catalogue under Acc. Nos. AB 2631, AC 608, AC 617- AC 632, ACA 215- ACA 234, ACA 317- ACA 323, AD 2256 - AD 2257. <5>

Most of the lithic assemblage from Redpoint is in the NMS, but there are some lithics (including microliths) in Gairloch Museum. <6>

Sources/Archives (6)



Grid reference Centred NG 7269 6850 (20m by 20m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NG76NW
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish GAIRLOCH

Finds (4)

  • LEAF ARROWHEAD (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC)
  • ARROWHEAD (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC)
  • LEAF ARROWHEAD (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC)
  • ASSEMBLAGE (Mesolithic to Late Bronze Age - 8000 BC to 551 BC?)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (2)

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