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Going Over: The Mesolithic-Neolithic Transition in North-West Europe$
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Alasdair Whittle and Vicki Cummings

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264140

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264140.001.0001

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The Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in western Scotland: a review and new evidence from Tiree

The Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in western Scotland: a review and new evidence from Tiree

Chapter:
(p.511) The Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in western Scotland: a review and new evidence from Tiree
Source:
Going Over: The Mesolithic-Neolithic Transition in North-West Europe
Author(s):

Steven Mithen

Anne Pirie

Sam Smith

Karen Wicks

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197264140.003.0025

Although both the Mesolithic and Neolithic of western Scotland have been studied since the early 20th century, our knowledge of both periods remains limited, as does our understanding of the transition between them – whether this is entirely cultural in nature or involves the arrival of new Neolithic populations and the demise of the indigenous Mesolithic hunter-gatherers. The existing data provide seemingly contradictory evidence, with that from dietary analysis of skeletal remains suggesting population replacement and that from settlement and technology indicating continuity. After reviewing this evidence, this chapter briefly describes ongoing fieldwork in the Inner Hebrides that aims to gain a more complete understanding of Mesolithic settlement patterns, without which there can only be limited progress on understanding the Mesolithic–Neolithic transition.

Keywords:   Mesolithic settlement, Neolithic, hunter-gatherers, Inner Hebrides, population replacement

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