3.4.1 Howden – Upper Palaeolithic Occupation

In 2006 and 2009 excavations at Howburn Farm, near Biggar South Lanarkshire (Ballin et al 2018) identified diagnostic lithic material within a mixed assemblage relating to Upper Palaeolithic Late Hamburgian and Federmesser-Gruppen ‘pioneer’ settlement during the Late Glacial period. It is thought that these early settlers most probably found their way into the Southern Uplands following reindeer herds across Doggerland through the Tweed Valley.

Photograph of 14 stone lithics on a black background.
Lithics from Brownsbank and Howburn farms, including Upper Palaeolithic tanged points © HES

Other Upper Palaeolithic material has come to light in recent years such as the assemblage from the Milltimber site in Aberdeenshire, elements of which are typologically Late Hamburgian or Ahrensburgian in date (Ballin forthcoming). Howburn is presently Scotland’s (and Britain’s) only Hamburgian settlement site.