Scotland’s oldest settlement, dating back 14,000 years, was near Biggar, in South Lanarkshire, archaeologists say. The site may have been a camp used by hunters following migrating herds of reindeer or wild horses across plains that are now covered by the North Sea.
Its discovery by the Biggar Archeology Group means humans have lived in Scotland for 3,000 years longer than previously thought. Until now the earliest evidence of human habitation in the country was at Cramond, near Edinburgh, which had been radiocarbon-dated to about 8400 BCE.
A large scattering of flints was first found in the field near Biggar a few years ago but the site was initially thought to be late Neolithic and was later classified as an Iron Age settlement after radiocarbon dating of charcoal found there. However, recent analysis of more of the flints revealed that they were from the end of the Upper Palaeolithic period, 14,000 years ago.