Tuesday, March 27, 2012

They've found your ancestor's house. 240 generations ago

The first farmers and the first villages in Scotland started probably 6,000 yeas ago. They have just found the remains of some of them, in Oban.

This is how Moira Kerr reported it in the Herald.

"Working on a routine survey of a Scottish hillside archaeologists have uncovered a treasure chest of historic artefacts dating back 6000 years. The find was made during preparatory work for a new housing development in Oban and is the biggest of its kind in mainland Argyll in recent years.

It includes a Stone Age or Neolithic axehead, dating back 5000-6000 years, three prehistoric roundhouses which are up to 3000 years old, and the remains of an 18th-century farmstead and metalwork store."

The little stones pictured lie here to-day on the shore of Kentallen Bay. You can see them from our cottage window. If they are the most recent rocks then they are over 50 million yeas old, the product of numerous volcanos. They are probably considerably older.

Almost certainly, a mesolithic hamlet would have existed here in 4,000bc. The conditions for farming, fresh water and sea fishing were ideal. Temperatures were much warmer, treelines were higher, the lions and elephants had been wiped out, the dog domesticated. Britain was already an island, and chambered cairns were being built - one in Ballachulish. It was savage, but liveable - just. The greatest danger came from other human beings.

They suffered from midgies, too.


The story they don't tell you about the Glencoe Massacre
History around the cottage in Appin
Did the Vikings stage a battle in Glencoe?
The Pictish broch in Lismore
West of Scotland millions of years ago
Robert the Bruce and the Ardchattan parliament
Robert the Bruce and the Knights Templar
The story of the MacDonalds of Glencoe
Ancient roads of the Highlands
Glencoe, the 4th Wonder of Scotland
Castles in the Glencoe area

Lochside cottage near Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland
  • Short Breaks Glencoe
  • Stories about Appin villages blog