Hunters and Gatherers at Woodend Loch

Over 750 pieces of worked stone and flint have been found at Woodend Loch, left behind by some of Scotland’s earliest people. Dr James Dilley tells us what these tiny fragments can reveal about life here 10000 years ago, and why this site is special.

This theme was brought to you by trainees with TCV’s Employability Scheme with help from Dr James Dilley and Emma Jones of Ancient Craft. It was part of Seven Lochs: A History Shaped by Water, supported by Historic Environment Scotland as part of the Year of Coast and Waters 2021


  • How long have people inhabited the Seven Lochs Wetland Park?

  • How do we know that people lived here over 10,000 years ago?

  • What did people hunt and gather at the Woodend Camp?

  • How did hunters and gatherers make their tools?

  • What else do we know about hunters and gatherers in Scotland?

Exploring the Mesolithic

Our group worked with archaeologists Dr James Dilley of Ancient Craft to explore the evidence for the Mesolithic in the Seven Lochs Wetland Park. We visited Woodend Loch and even today can understand why nomadic hunters and gatherers would have set up camp near the loch with its many resources such as fresh water, fish and wildfowl as well as visiting animals. We also tried our hand at flintknapping. The process gave us a of how, and why, so many stone shards came to be deposited at Woodend Loch. We also looked at replica prehistoric items such as baskets and hides which, unlike the flint, would not have survived.

James and Emma made a series of short videos so we could share our findings with you.

  • James started us off by telling us about the ancient craft of flintknapping

  • We used hard, rounded stones called burins to chip away at the softer flint.

  • As we worked the flint, chippings fell to the ground.

  • It was hard work knapping the flint but you can get a really sharp edge.

  • The finished product!

  • And another!

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