The Upper Dee Tributaries Project: Finding the Mesolithic in the mountains of Scotland

Shannon M Fraser, Gordon Noble, Graeme Warren, Richard Tipping, Danny Paterson, Wishart Mitchell, Ann Clarke, Caroline Wickham-Jones

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This paper outlines aspects of a collaborative, multi-disciplinary project examining the Mesolithic use of one of the most dramatic mountain landscapes in Britain – the Cairngorm Mountains of northern Scotland. An outline of the Upper Dee Tributaries Project is presented, with a brief summary of work carried out to date. The main focus of discussion is on the difficulties of site prospection in Cairngorms: where peat covers Mesolithic land-surfaces and areas of erosion are comparatively rare. These problems of prospection are especially important given the challenges of managing of Mesolithic sites in these landscapes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHolocene Foragers in Europe and Beyond
Subtitle of host publicationPapers Presented to the Ninth International Conference on the Mesolithic in Europe MESO 2015, Belgrade, Serbia
EditorsD. Borić, D. Antonović, B. Mihailović, S. Stefanović
Place of PublicationBelgrade
PublisherSerbian Archaeological Society
Number of pages6
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 11 Feb 2020
EventNinth International Conference on the Mesolithic in Europe - Belgrade, Serbia
Duration: 14 Sept 201518 Sept 2015


ConferenceNinth International Conference on the Mesolithic in Europe
Abbreviated titleMESO15

Bibliographical note

The Upper Dee Tributaries Project partners are grateful for financial assistance received from the National Trust for Scotland, Aberdeenshire Council, the Society of Antiquaries of London, the Robert Kiln Charitable Trust, the Royal Archaeological Institute and the Tony Clark Memorial Fund. As ever many people have contributed to the success of fieldwork including colleagues and students from the University of Aberdeen and University College Dublin. This work would not have been possible without the support of the NTS Property Manager David Frew and the Mar Lodge Estate team.


  • site prospection
  • landscape archaeology
  • mountain/upland
  • Scotland
  • management


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