6.5.3 Stone Working and Knapping

Production of stone tools clearly occurred in this period, and a number of sites show evidence of knapping. Some of the Highland sites such as Littleferry (MHG11663) are on coastal dunes where manufacture appears to have occurred for millennia, with evidence from at least the Neolithic onwards. Bradley (2016b; Bradley et al 2017, 27; Case Study Littleferry Links) has speculated that these may be areas for exchange as well as production.

The evidence of flint knapping in the Highlands highlights that there must also have been exchange in raw materials as there are no flint outcrops in the Highlands apart from southwestern Lochaber. This was also the case during the Neolithic. However, no systematic investigation of coastal and drift deposits has yet been undertaken to gauge whether any erratic flint is to be found. Highland craftspeople were using other materials such as chert, quartz and, on the west, mudstone (Skye) and bloodstone (Rùm); this is an indication that they used what was locally available.

The evidence from wristguards (Chapter; Table 6.10) indicates that most were made outside the Highland Region. The use of Langdale tuff for the wristguards from Culduthel (MHG3776), Fyrish, and Corry Liveras is part of its wider use in Britain documented in Woodward and Hunter’s (2011) study of British wristguards.


Case Study: Littleferry Links

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