About Us

Who are we?

Mesolithic Deeside is a friendly group of people who enjoy exploring the past. We have members from all walks of life including some archaeologists and students. We are investigating the earliest periods of human occupation in the valley of the River Dee in Aberdeenshire.

We are a fairly informal organisation entirely run by voluntary effort with a small organising committee. We have support from professional archaeologists by way of advice, guidance and collaborative working on some projects and publications.

Although we are all vollunteers we have buit up a reputation for making an important contribution to archaeological research.

If you would like to get in touch with us for any reason or would like to join us, even if only for one day to try field walking, you can e-mail us on:  mesolithicdeeside@outlook.com

What do we do?

Our main activity is walking ploughed fields in the winter in search  of stone tools that have been turned up by the plough.

These stone tools, we call them lithics, can be anywhere in age from between 10,000 years old and 3,000 years old. Our main period of interest is the Mesolithic Period which spans from  10,000 years ago to 6,000 years ago. This was a time when the only humans in Scotland were groups of nomadic hunter gatherers who did not build permanent dwellings or erect stone monuments. They left very little trace of their activities except for the sharp cutting tools they made from various types of stone, but mainly flint.

Because there is so little to look for, by way of structures or earthworks,  we spend only limited amounts of our time doing what the public think of as the usual activities of archaeologists, as seen on various television programmes.

Why do we do it?

On a personal level we enjoy a day out in the country, the company, the chat and the hunt for bright shiny things. There is a fascination in holding an object that ws made and lost by another human thousands of years ago and has survived in the soil with very little damage.

On another level we are making a serious contribution to archaeological research. We do not take our finds home with us. They are carefully bagged and the map coordinates of the find spots are carefully logged. The finds are then listed and classified and plotted on a map, like the one below.This enables us to identify sites that were used frequently by the nomadic people of the stone age and which sites were only used occasionally. We then have target areas for further research.

The finds then go through the Treasure Trove process and will be housed in a local museum where they can be put on display or used for further studies. You can watch a short video about the finds processing if you click Here

A boad blade made from flint
Map of lithic finds