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More than 5000 Flint Tools Are Found in Biggar, Scotland (Circa 12,000 BCE)


On April 9, 2014 Culture254.org.uk reported that more than 5000 flint artefacts were excavated from a field at Howburn Farm, near Biggar in South Lanarkshire, Scotland, between 2005 and 2009. These finds were previously reported in Current Archaeology on June 25, 2010. The tools, which date from approximately 12,000 BCE, represent the earliest evidence of human occupation in Scotland. They were described as “strikingly similar” to tools produced in continental Europe during the same period.

“ 'These tools represent a real connection with archaeological finds in north-west Germany, southern Denmark and north-west Holland - a connection not seen elsewhere in Britain at this time,' says Alan Saville, a Senior Curator in Earliest Prehistory at the National Museums of Scotland who is also the President of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and a specialist in the study of flaked flint and stone tools.

“This discovery is both intriguing and revolutionises our ideas about where humans came from in this very early period.

“In southern Britain, early links are with northern France and Belgium. Howburn is just one chance discovery and further such discoveries will no doubt emerge.”

"The climate had improved when the game hunters arrived, but the return of glacial weather is thought to have driven humans away until around 1,000 years later. A now-destroyed cave in Argyll had previously provided the earliest evidence of humans in Scotland.

"Detailing the findings, which will be fully published in a Historic Scotland report next year, Cabinet Secretary for Culture Fiona Hyslop also announced more than £1.4 million in funding for dozens of archaeological projects across Scotland during the next year" (http://www.culture24.org.uk/history-and-heritage/archaeology/megaliths-and-prehistoric-archaeology/art475720, accessed 04-10-2014).