Upper Palaeolithic evidence from Kilmelfort Cave, Argyll

a re-evaluation of the lithic assemblage

Alan Saville (Author)

Torben Bjarke Ballin (Author)

Rural Settlement, Settlement, flint, quartz, assemblage
Upper Palaeolithic, Late Glacial Interstadial


An assemblage of flint and quartz artefacts recovered during the destruction of Kilmelfort Cave,
Argyll, in 1956, was initially attributed to the Mesolithic period. In this paper the assemblage is reanalysed
and the conclusion that it represents the residue of human occupation at the site during
the Late Glacial Interstadial is reached. Typological considerations indicate the assemblage is
of Curve-Backed Point Group (Federmessergruppen) affiliation and likely to date to the 12th
millennium 14C yr bp. Significantly, the evidence from Kilmelfort provides the first substantive
indication of the presence of Late Upper Palaeolithic hunters in Scotland.


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How to Cite
Saville, A., & Ballin, T. B. (2010). Upper Palaeolithic evidence from Kilmelfort Cave, Argyll: a re-evaluation of the lithic assemblage. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 139, 9–45. https://doi.org/10.9750/PSAS.139.9.45