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Islay, Gleann Mor

Flint Scatter (Prehistoric)

Site Name Islay, Gleann Mor

Classification Flint Scatter (Prehistoric)

Canmore ID 37314

Site Number NR25NW 10

NGR NR 2332 5820

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

C14 Radiocarbon Dating


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish Kilchoman
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll

Archaeology Notes

NR25NW 10 2332 5820

(Centred NR 236 582) The occurrence of flint artifacts and evidence of flint working indicates a Mesolithic occupation area stretching from about NR 232 585 to NR 243 583 with partcular concentrations at NR 2330 5825, a disused sand quarry, NR 2395 5825 and NR 235 582. Types include microliths, microburins and at least one Larne pick.

A D Lacaille has examined specimens and considers them to be of a debased Mesolithic type. The flintbearing layer is a spread of grey, peaty sand underlying about a foot of peat, though the site at NR 233 585 is complicated by an upper stratum which has produced heavy implements of quartzite and grit as well as brown hand-made pottery.

F Newall 1959; 1960; 1962; 1970; F Newall and H E Newall 1961

No further information.

Visited by OS (BS) 13 May 1978

NR 233 582. The previous recording refers to test excavations at the 'Sand Quarry Site' (site A) on Gleann Mor. A discrete flint scatter was identified lying just to the south of the quarry and covering an area of c50 sq m 4144 pieces of flint and quartz were recovered from an excavated area of 6 sq m including 256 blades, 22 cores and 38 microliths. Analysis of the lithic collection and dating of the site is currently underway.

S Mithen 1989a.

NR 232 583. The excavation begun in 1989 was continued, adding another 3,000 pieces to the lithic assemblage. Other trenches were unsuccessful in locating other features, though a second small lithic scatter was located c30m from the main site. Work at this site has been completed.

S Mithen 1990.

Excavation is located at NR 2332 5820, adjacent to a quarry.

Information from S Mithen 30 December 1991.

The Mesolithic settlement on Gleann Mor in the Rhinns of Islay was first discovered by an amateur archaeologist in the 1950's. He noticed flint eroding from the side of a disused sand quarry that had cut through the moorland peat. The site was excavated between 1988-90 and over 30,000 pieces of flint were recovered from the site.

The stone artefacts recovered from the site are heavily dominated by flint, although some quartz had also been used. All stages of tool manufacture were present from unmodified flint pebbles, through cores and waste flakes to finished tools.

The settlement on Gleann Mor is on a small spur of land overlooking the valley and located next to what was probably a spring..

A thermoluminescence date of 8.11 +- 0.98 thousand years BP has been obtained for burnt flint from this site.

S Mithen 1991


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