Alan Saville (31 December 1946 – 19 June 2016): One of Britain’s finest lithics specialists

  • Torben Bjarke Ballin 1. Lithic Research, Stirlingshire, UK. 2. Honorary Research Fellow, University of Bradford, UK.
Keywords: Alan Saville, biography


Alan Saville had a long and distinguished career in British archaeology, and following his education and early archaeological background in England, he has latterly been associated mainly with Scottish archaeology, where he held the post of Senior Curator at the Department of Scottish Archaeology and History, National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh.


Ballin, T.B. & Saville, A. 2003, An Ahrensburgian-type tanged point from Shieldaig, Wester Ross, Scotland, and its implications. Oxford Journal of Archaeology, 22(2): 115-131. doi:10.1111/1468-0092.t01-1-00001
Ballin, T.B., Saville, A., Tipping, R., & Ward, T. 2010, An Upper Palaeolithic Flint and Chert Assemblage from Howburn Farm, South Lanarkshire, Scotland: First Results. Oxford Journal of Archaeology, 29(4): 323-360. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0092.2010.00352.x
Ballin, T.B., Saville, A., Tipping, R., & Ward, T. (2016), Additional Late Hamburgian Lithic Artefacts from Howburn in South Lanarkshire, Scotland. (Manuscript in preparation for Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, unsubmitted). 76 p.
Bridgland, D.R., Saville, A. & Sinclair, J.M. 1997, New evidence for the origin of the Buchan Ridge Gravel, Aberdeenshire. Scottish Journal of Geology, 33: 43-50. doi:10.1144/sjg33010043
Martingell, H., & Saville, A. 1988, The Illustration of Lithic Artefacts: A Guide to Drawing Stone Tools for Specialist Reports. Lithic Studies Society Occasional Papers Vol. 3 & AAI&S Technical Papers Vol. 9. Lithic Studies Society & Association of Archaeological Illustrators & Surveyors, Northampton, 30 p.
Saville, A. 1980, Five flint assemblages from excavated sites in Wiltshire. Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine, 72-73: 1-27.
Saville, A. 1981a, Grimes Graves, Norfolk. Excavations 1971/72: Volume II. The Flint Assemblage. Department of the Environment Archaeological Reports Vol. 11. Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 181 p.
Saville, A. 1981b, Honey Hill, Elkington: a Northamptonshire Mesolithic site. Northamptonshire Archaeology 16: 1-13.
Saville, A. 1981c, Mesolithic Industries in Central England: an exploratory investigation using microlith typology. The Archaeological Journal, 138: 49-71. doi:10.1080/00665983.1981.11078661
Saville, A. 1990, Hazleton North, Gloucestershire, 1979-82: The excavation of a Neolithic long cairn of the Cotswold-Severn group. English Heritage Archaeological Report Vol. 13. Historic Buildings & Monuments Commission for England, London, 281 p.
Saville, A. 1995, GB 20 Den of Boddam near Peterhead, Grampian Region, Scotland. GB 21 Skelmuir Hill, Grampian Region, Scotland. Prehistoric exploitation of flint from the Buchan Ridge Gravels, Grampian region, north-east Scotland. Archaeologia Polona, 33: 353-368.
Saville, A. 1996, Lacaille, Microliths and the Mesolithic of Orkney. In: The Early Prehistory of Scotland, (Pollard, T., & Morrison, A., Eds.), Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh: p. 213-224.
Saville, A. 1997, Palaeolithic handaxes in Scotland. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society of Scotland, 127: 1-16.
Saville A. 1998, Tain (Tain parish); flint projectile point. Discovery & Excavation in Scotland, 1998: 62–63.
Saville, A. 1999a, A Cache of Flint Axeheads and Other Flint Artefacts from Auchenhoan, near Campbelltown, Kintyre, Scotland. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, 65: 83 114. doi:10.1017/S0079497X0000195X
Saville, A. 1999b, The Portpatrick Flint Caches. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, 65: 117-123.
Saville, A. 2000, Orkney and Scotland before the Neolithic period. In: Neolithic Orkney in its European Context, Ritchie, A., Ed.), McDonald Institute Monograph. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: p. 91-100.
Saville, A. 2002, Lithic Artefacts from Neolithic Causewayed Enclosures: Character and Meaning. In: Enclosures in Neolithic Europe. Essays on Causewayed and Non-Causewayed Sites, (Varndell, G. & Topping, P., Eds.), Oxbow Books, Oxford: p. 91 105.
Saville, A. 2003a, Indications of regionalisation in Mesolithic Scotland. In: Mesolithic on the Move. Papers presented at the Sixth International Conference on the Mesolithic in Europe, Stockholm 2000, (Larsson, L., Kindgren, H., Knutsson, K., Loeffler, D. & Åkerlund, A., Eds.), Oxbow Books, Oxford: p. 230-238.
Saville, A. 2003b, Lithic Resource Exploitation for Artefacts in Prehistoric and Early Historic Scotland. In: Man and Mining - Mensch und Bergbau. Studies in honour of Gerd Weisgerber on occasion of his 65th birthday, (Stöllner, T., Körlin, G., Steffens, G. & Cierny, J., Eds.), Deutsches Bergbau Museum, Bochum: p. 405-413.
Saville, A. 2004a, The Material Culture of Mesolithic Scotland. In: Mesolithic Scotland and its Neighbours. The Early Holocene Prehistory of Scotland, its British and Irish Context, and some Northern European Perspectives, (Saville, A. Ed.), Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Edinburgh: p. 185-220.
Saville, A. (ed.) 2004b, Mesolithic Scotland and its Neighbours. The Early Holocene Prehistory of Scotland, its British and Irish Context, and some Northern European Perspectives, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Edinburgh, 458 p.
Saville, A. 2005a, Prehistoric Quarrying of a Secondary Flint Source: Evidence from North-East Scotland. In: The Cultural Landscape of Prehistoric Mines, (Topping, P. & Lynott, M., Eds.), Oxbow Books, Oxford: p. 1-13.
Saville, A. 2005b, Struck lithic artefacts. In Kilellan Farm, Ardnave, Islay. Excavation of a Prehistoric to Early Medieval Site by Colin Burgess and others 1954-76, (Ritchie, A., Ed.), Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Edinburgh: p. 97-132.
Saville, A. 2006a, The Early Neolithic Lithic Assemblage in Britain: some Chronological Considerations. In: Contribution of Lithics to Early and Middle Neolithic Chronology in France and Neighbouring Regions, (Allard, P., Bostyn, F. & Zimmermann, A., Eds.), British Archaeological Reports International Series Vol. 1494, Archaeopress, Oxford: p. 1-14.
Saville, A. 2006b, Flint technology associated with extraction sites in north-east Scotland. In: Stone Age - Mining Age. Proceedings of the VIII International Flint Symposium, Bochum, 1999, (Weisgerber, G., Ed.), Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum, Bochum: p. 449-454.
Saville, A. 2008a, The Beginning of the Later Mesolithic in Scotland. In: Man - Millennia - Environment. Studies in Honour of Romuald Schild, (Sulgostowska, Z. & Tomaszewski, A.J., Eds.), Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw: p. 207-213.
Saville, A. 2008b, Flint extraction and processing from secondary flint deposits in the north-east of Scotland in the Neolithic period. In: Flint Mining in Prehistoric Europe. Interpreting the archaeological records. European Association of Archaeologists, 12th Annual Meeting, Cracow, Poland, 19th-24th September 2006, (Allard, P., Bostyn, F., Giligny, F. & Lech, J., Eds.), BAR International Series Vol. 1891, Archaeopress, Oxford: p. 1-10.
Saville, A. (Ed.) 2011a, Flint and Stone in the Neolithic Period. Neolithic Studies Group Seminar Papers Vol. 11, Oxbow Books, Oxford, 315 p.
Saville, A. 2011b, Residues at the Neolithic flint extraction site at Den of Boddam, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. In: Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference of the UISPP Commission on Flint Mining in Pre- and Protohistoric Times (Madrid, 14-17 October 2009), (Capote, M., Consuegra, S., Diaz-del-Rio, P. & Terradas, X. Eds.), BAR International Series Vol. 2260, Archaeopress, Oxford: p. 19-28.
Saville, A. 2012, Three Early Bronze Age flint daggers from north Northumberland and their typological context. Archaeologia Aeliana, 41: 1-17.
Saville, A. (2016), Skara Brae 1972-73: Struck Lithic Artefacts. (Manuscript in preparation for Skara Brae, Clarke, D. L., Ed., unsubmitted). 25 p.
Saville, A., & Ballin, T.B. 2009, 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.
Saville, A., & Wickham-Jones, C. (Eds.) 2012, Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Scotland: ScARF Panel Report. Scottish Archaeological Research Framework, 163 p. Accessed: 30 June 2016. URL:
Saville, A., Hardy, K., Miket, R., & Ballin, T.B. 2012, An Corran, Staffin, Skye: A Rockshelter with Mesolithic and Later Occupation. Scottish Archaeological Internet Reports (SAIR), Vol. 51. Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Edinburgh, 108 p. Accessed: 30 June 2016. URL:
How to Cite
Ballin, T. (2016). Alan Saville (31 December 1946 – 19 June 2016): One of Britain’s finest lithics specialists. Journal of Lithic Studies, 3(1), 295-300.