Conclusions

The recovery of sites relating to early prehistoric hunting-fishing-gathering peoples poses unique problems for archaeological fieldwork. Potentially low population densities, high mobility, and ephemeral material culture, generally create low-visibilty sites in the landscape that are difficult to recover using established prospection techniques. Complex geomorphological processes also hinder the archaeologist’s attempts to discover new sites during these early periods of Scotland’s past, especially when considering settlement and the associated environmental evidence of the Upper Palaeolithic. However, new fieldwork methodologies and a better understanding of past environments (cf. Rensinck and Peeters 2006; Peeters 2007), along with an increasing amount of discoveries through the commercial sector, are revealing the diverse and often rich data relating to people in Scotland at this time and their relationship with their wider environment.

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