4.5.3 Other materials

Daily life in the Mesolithic and Palaeolithic is likely to have required the working of many materials that have not survived to the present day. Some of these materials such as wood and bark have been found on waterlogged sites outside of Scotland. Both of these materials survived at Tybrind Vig, a submerged site in Denmark. Stone tools played an important role in working other materials and occasionally, there might be indirect evidence which shows that bone bevel-ended tools could have been used for processing hides (Birch 2009). At Sand, Wester Ross (Case Study Sand) the main identified mammal bones were red deer and wild boar. Metapodials and phalanges were the most common. This suggests that the removal of hides occurred as these bones often remain attached to the hides as they are removed from the carcass (Hardy and Wickham-Jones 2009, 9.4.9). It is important to remember how much differential preservation of materials can colour archaeologists’ view of material culture in the past. Experimental Centres, such as the YEAR Centre at the University of York, facilitate considerable research into Mesolithic technology such as the manufacture of birch tar, or uses of amber. However practical research like this is limited in Scotland. 


Case Study: Sand

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