In 2009 a team from Oxford Archaeology undertook archaeological investigations in advance of a programme of runway and taxiway extension at Ronaldsway Airport, Malew, Isle of Man. One of the most significant finds identified during the fieldwork was an Early Mesolithic domestic structure. The structure, dating to the late 9th millennium cal BC, produced a predominantly in-situ flaked lithic and coarse stone assemblage consisting of over 19,000 pieces.

A typological and technological attribute analysis of the flaked lithic assemblage has identified it as a narrow blade, geometric microlith technology. The flaked lithics include material from all stages of the reduction sequence, and the debitage and tools are made almost exclusively from local beach pebble flint. The microlith component of the assemblage, comprising a total of 579 pieces, is dominated by scalene triangles, of varying size. Almost 250 microburins have also been recorded. The structure probably burnt down in-situ. Therefore, the results of the on going spatial analysis of the worked stone will enable us to construct a narrative about the organisation of social space within an Early Mesolithic structure: a rare and exciting prospect.

The site is among a small number of Early Mesolithic domestic structures associated with a narrow blade, geometric microlith technology that have been recorded from several regions across northern England and Scotland. The forthcoming publication of the site will contribute significantly to understanding the role these structures played in the organisation of Early Mesolithic society.


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