Lost and found twice: Discussion of an early post-glacial single-edged tanged point from Brodgar on Orkney, Scotland

  • Torben Bjarke Ballin 1. Lithic Research, Stirlingshire; 2. Honorary Research Fellow, University of Bradford, Bradford.
  • Hein Bjartmann Bjerck The University Museum, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim
Keywords: Late Upper Palaeolithic-Early Mesolithic, Ahrensburgian, Fosna-Hensbacka, single-edged points, tanged points, Norway, Orkney, Scotland, cross-Doggerland connections, post-glacial recolonization


Over the last few decades it has been shown that Scotland was settled – or at least occasionally visited – during the late Upper Palaeolithic period. The finds include diagnostic artefacts of Hamburgian, Federmesser and Ahrensburgian typology, but since Livens’ presentation in 1956 of three tanged arrowheads from Scotland, it has also been discussed whether northern Britain was settled or visited from the north-east, by groups belonging to the Scandinavian Fosna-Hensbacka complex. Only one of the three arrowheads presented by Livens appeared to be a Fosna-Hensbacka point, but this piece was lost immediately after the paper in which it was initially summarily described was published. However, this point – originally found at Brodgar on Orkney – has now been refound, and the authors hope that their detailed characterization and discussion of the object’s date and affinity will allow the question of a possible Upper Palaeolithic-Early Mesolithic connection across Doggerland to be addressed in a more authoritative manner.


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How to Cite
Ballin, T., & Bjerck, H. (2016). Lost and found twice: Discussion of an early post-glacial single-edged tanged point from Brodgar on Orkney, Scotland. Journal of Lithic Studies, 3(1), 31-50. https://doi.org/10.2218/jls.v3i1.1393
Research Articles