Authored Book

Reindeer hunters at Howburn Farm, South Lanarkshire

Alternative title A late Hamburgian settlement in southern Scotland - its lithic artefacts and natural environment



Ballin TB, Saville A, Housley R, Tipping R, Bradley M, Wilson C, Lincoln P & MacLeod A (2018) Reindeer hunters at Howburn Farm, South Lanarkshire [A late Hamburgian settlement in southern Scotland - its lithic artefacts and natural environment]. Oxford: Archaeopress Archaeology.

This volume presents the lithic assemblage from Howburn in South Lanarkshire, Scotland, which at present is the oldest prehistoric settlement in Scotland (12,700-12,000 BC), and the only Hamburgian settlement in Britain. The site also included a scatter from the Late Upper Palaeolithic Federmesser- Gruppen period (12,000-10,800 BC), as well as lithics from the Mesolithic, Neolithic and Early Bronze Age. The book focuses on the Hamburgian finds, which are mainly based on the exploitation of flint from Doggerland, the then dry bed of the North Sea. The Hamburgian tools include tanged arrowheads, scrapers, piercers, burins, and other implement forms which show similarities with tools of the same age on the European continent. The shape of one scatter suggests that the Palaeolithic settlers lived in tent-like structures. The Palaeolithic finds from Howburn shed light on several important general trends, such as the `acclimatization' of pioneer settlers, as well as the development of regional differences following the initial Late Glacial recolonization of Scotland. Palaeo-environmental work focused on whether there was a small lake (`Loch Howburn') in front of the terrace on which the camp was situated, and it was concluded that there was indeed a lake there, but it was neither contemporary with the Hamburgian, nor the Federmesser-Gruppen settlement. Most likely, `Loch Howburn' dates to the Loch Lomond stadial.

FundersHistoric Environment Scotland
Publication date31/07/2018
PublisherArchaeopress Archaeology
Place of publicationOxford

People (1)


Dr Clare Wilson

Dr Clare Wilson

Senior Lecturer, Biological and Environmental Sciences