Around 10,000 years ago the ice-age finally came to an end, temperatures were rising, the environment was gradually improving and from then on Scotland became an attractive place for “hunter gatherer” settlement. These first Mesolithic settlers first arrived on Arran around 8,000 years ago and survived by exploiting animals, sea mammals, fish, shellfish, birds, seeds, berries and fungi etc. So far, the only Mesolithic site to be excavated on Arran was at Auchareoch, in the 1980’s, and proved to be one of the earliest. Since then, sites have been found at Machrie, Kildonan and Glenshurig and lithic scatters have also been found in several other locations.
It is likely that the first thing to catch your attention when you enter The Archaeology Room will be the flicker of a television screen and a voice telling you the story of the Clachaig Man (see above). The video tells the story of the reconstruction of his face from the original skull, found at Clachaig, through the combination of the skills of Professor Peter Vanezis and the marvels of computer technology. Local sculptor Marvin Elliot then translated the video into the head you can see in the special display case. Although 5000 years old, the Clachaig Man comes alive in the Museum today.
Of outstanding interest archaeologically are the Neolithic (New Stone Age) and Early Bronze Ages sites. The chambered tombs of the Neolithic Age are famous and are illustrated on the left of the door.
These are just a few examples of what you can see and discover in the Archeology Room.
Our Guidebook, which you can buy in our Museum Shop, gives you more much detail and background about Arran’s past and our exhibits.