A tanged point and two blade technologies from Rubha Port an t-Seilich, Isle of Islay, western Scotland

Inger Berg-Hansen, Karen Wicks, Steven Mithen
2019 Journal of Lithic Studies  
We describe a tanged point and a blade technology from Rubha Port an t-Seilich, Isle of Islay, Scotland that provides further support to a Late Pleistocene or Early Holocene presence in Scotland prior to the establishment of the narrow blade Mesolithic industry. The existing evidence for a Late Pleistocene or early Holocene presence comes from isolated finds of tanged points (Tiree, Shieldig, Brodgar), undated assemblages from disturbed contexts that are most likely Late Pleistocene in date
more » ... stocene in date (Howburn, Kilmefort Cave), and undated assemblages containing broad blade microliths (e.g., Glenbatrick, Morton). This article provides a summary of recent excavations and the stratigraphy at Rubha Port an t-Seilich, and a detailed analysis the lithic blade blank production at the site, which is, we believe, the first application of a chaîne opératoire based approach to a Scottish assemblage. The study includes comparisons with contemporary assemblages from north-western Europe. The significance of the Rubha Port an t-Seilich finds is threefold: (1) the relative large size of the assemblage that allows a technological analysis; (2) the finds partially derive from a stratified context below a narrow blade assemblage, associated with radiocarbon dates 9301-7750 cal. BP; and (3) further excavation can increase the sample size and potentially expose an in situ Late Pleistocene or early Holocene cultural horizon.
doi:10.2218/jls.2892 fatcat:w3zh5x235rduhiu655wzi2qwym