A Mesolithic Site at Kilmore, near Oban, Western Scotland

Clive Bonsall, Robert W Payton, Mark Macklin, Graham A Ritchie

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)


The Mesolithic shell midden sites found around Oban Bay and elsewhere along the coast of western Scotland were at one time thought to represent a distinct ‘Obanian’ culture. The proposition that these sites were in fact special-purpose camps, associated with unidentified base camps, was tested as part of the Oban Archaeological Project. The factors assumed to have influenced the location of the base camps were modelled and, subsequently, two open-air Mesolithic sites were identifi ed – at Kilmore near the head of Loch Feochan, and Lón Mór at the head of the Oban embayment – both occupying sheltered, near-shoreline positions close to permanent sources of fresh water. Archaeological and pedological investigations of the Kilmore site have allowed a sequence of environmental and anthropogenic events to be reconstructed. The stratified remains of at least two phases of occupation associated with buried land surfaces were identified. A chipped stone assemblage comprising both flint and quartz artefacts was recovered, notable for the presence of Late Mesolithic ‘narrow blade’ microliths and an unusually high percentage of bipolar cores. An age younger than that of the highest Postglacial shoreline is suggested for the Mesolithic occupation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFrom Bann Flakes to Bushmills
Subtitle of host publicationpapers in honour of Professor Peter Woodman
EditorsNyree Finlay, Sinéad McCartan, Nicky Milner, Caroline Wickham-Jones
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxbow Books
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)978-1-84217-355-8
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Publication series

NamePrehistoric Society Research Papers


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