7000BC, the Middle Stone Age after the
This was the earliest occupation of Scotland.
Small hunter/gatherers groups arrived from England and
Ireland, seeking food. We have evidence of life form
7000-4000BC The Mesolithic Age
Any flints that are found give us evidence of human
activity. Flint isn't natural in this area, so it must
have been brought here by man. At this time, people
moved around in extended family groups, living in temporary
structures. This is why it is difficult to find evidence
of their homes now. This way of life lasted 3000 years.
The groups knew where to find good resources, which
is why they would have settled in this area of Scotland.
Indeed, the area was used for hunting up till the Middle
Ages. Around 1940, a local man found a collection of
800 flints on a gravel bed on the North East shore of
4000BC The Neolithic
This was the start of farming. Long houses were built
of wood, with animals kept which were imported from
Europe and the Far East. They grew barley and wheat.
We now find evidence of chambered cairns from this
date, where the communities buried their dead, and used
the cairn to mark their claim to a certain area. However,
most of these cairns have been wiped out by agricultural
development. Farmers would remove them from fields when
ploughing, and often used the stones to build dykes.
2000BC The Bronze Age
We have evidence of box-kist burials in this area.
Urns have been found in two kists in 19th century excavations.
We also have bronze-age weapons, as they survive burial
well. A bronze spearhead was found in 1898 just west
of Provanhall. Sometimes moulds are found also.
700BC The Iron Age
This era saw a rise in defended settlements, as population
increased and the climate worsened. These settlements
only survive in the upland areas, because no farmers
ploughed there. An excellent example is at Meiklegreive
in the Campsies.
site of the Crannoch find
(click for larger image)
These dwellings are found throughout Scotland on fresh
water lochs. They are artificial islands, built on stilts
or rafts (or possibly on the shore line itself). They
were connected to the shore by a causeway. Pottery and
other articles were found in Bishop Loch in an 1898
excavation. Some of these finds are in Airdrie museum
and others are in Kelvingrove. One of the best digs
was at Dumbuck. It has been dated to the y'h Century
AD, using radio carbon dating and from counting the
rings of the trees. It was only occupied for 50 years,
and evidence of a bluebottle infestation might explain
Crannogs used stone hearths so they wouldn't set fire
to the wood floor. Lot's of wooden artefacts have been
found, such as mallets, lids of butter churns, etc.
The Lochend excavation revealed coarse pottery, animal
bones and human remains.
Photos of Dig
142-163 AD The Roman Occupation
The Antonine Wall was built when Rome gained a new
emperor who needed a new military victory! As well as
the wall, Scotland has great evidence of Roman military
camps. There are examples at Croyhill and Twechar, and
the bathhouse at Bearsden. There is evidence of the
Romans as far north as Aberdeen and Inverness.
The Dark Ages
Crannogs and hill forts were still occupied at this
time. Scotland was affected greatly by the accession
of David I in 1124. He brought friends from the south
and gave them all land. There is a lot of evidence of
Mottes along the Kelvin valley.