New Publication

The waterfalls in the gorges at the upper reaches of the River Dee in the Cairngorm Mountains. One of the spectacular locations of the work on Mesolithic activity reported here.

It is always good to see a piece of research come to publication. In this case it brings back memories of a wonderful trip into the Cairngorms around the time of my 50th birthday to have a look at the location of some Mesolithic finds that had recently come to light during maintenance work on the National Trust for Scotland footpath at Chest of Dee on the Mar Lodge estate.

It was a wonderful location and the lithics were interesting. Evidence for the early communities who used this landscape is hard to find so we were all quite excited. Since then, with the enthusiasm of members of the National Trust for Scotland, Aberdeenshire Archaeology Service, and the Universities of Aberdeen and University College Dublin, we have mounted a programme of archaeological investigation.

Of course, the fieldwork was fun! But as many know, the out-of-doors bit is only a tiny part of any archaeological project. Over the years we have been slowly analysing the finds and drawing in other information in order to try and tease out a picture of the landscape and those who lived there, or passed through it some 9000 years ago.

It is a slow process but we can finally share our thoughts in published form. I hope you find them as interesting as we do.

The project, meanwhile, continues – albeit in a piecemeal fashion. What is interesting is that with the help of Mesolithic Deeside we have been able to extend our thinking to look at the length of the River Dee right down to the sea. These big (for Scotland) rivers were important for all sorts of reasons to the early communities who lived in Scotland and we have a rare chance to build a pretty full picture of the traces they have left along the banks.

So – the work goes on, but it is nice to see this publication out.