Scotlands History

Kinloch Mesolithic site, Rhum

Archaeological excavations at Kinloch on the island of Rhum have provided the earliest evidence of human settlement in the whole of Scotland.

Thousands of years ago humans were travelling to Rhum, off the west coast, to gather bloodstone to make tools. Bloodstone artefacts from Rhum have been found at Mesolithic sites on Eigg, Canna and Skye and at sites over 70 km from the island.

Radiocarbon dating of evidence gathered at Kinloch showed human activity as far back as c 6600 BC. Burnt hazelnuts and tens of thousands of stone flakes from tool making were found at the site. Evidence of stake-holes may show the position of wind breaks, parts of skin-and-stake huts or shelters where Mesolithic people stayed when they visited the island.

  • A photograph of a person scrapping the ground with a trowel.

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