Drumchapel in Prehistory

We can begin this prehistory from 330 million years ago to age a shark found in neighbouring Bearsden. The shark has been given the latin name Akmoniston zangerli. At the time Bearsden and Drumchapel were underneath a huge salt water loch that stretched at least from Dalry in Ayrshire, north to Milton of Campsie and east to East Kilbride. This shark is now in the Hunterian Museum at the University of Glasgow. To put this timescale in perspective Neanderthal man Homo sapiens neanderthalensis was around only 100 000 years ago, and modern man Homo sapiens sapiens became dominant as recently as 40 000 years ago.

Although there is evidence of human habitation in Britain at 24000 BC, just before the Devensian ice age, there is no evidence of Scottish habitation. The earliest potential for human colonisation of Scotland and hence Drumchapel would have came in the Pleistocene period during one of the interglacials, probably around 11000 BC. Animal fossil remains from this period include a woolly rhinoceros bone from Bishopbriggs, mammoth bones from Kilmaurs in Ayrshire and various reindeer bones. However, although the prey animals have been found, no signs of human habitation have been found for this period in this area.

Shortly after this time Scotland suffered another smaller ice age, centred on Rannoch Moor, known as the Lomond Readvance. It was this ice age that finally gave Scotland its rugged landscape; and thus Drumchapel its two ridges, the western Drumry and the eastern Drum of the Horse.

The ice age lasted longest in the west, but ended sometime before 8500 BC, marking the start of the Holocene period. Man is first recorded in Scotland on the Hebridean island of Rum around this time. Scotland was still part of the landmass of continental Europe and the ending of the ice age brought a complete change of flora and fauna to the area; the mesolithic period, with colonisation by man.

Around 7000 BC birch and hazel arrived in Scotland. Scots Pine arrived about 6000 BC though mainly in the east coast. The melting ice gave Scotland floods; new lochs and rivers were formed. The land bridges to Europe were severed creating the North Sea and the English Channel. Britain became an island. By 4000 BC Drumchapel - was predominately covered in birch and oak.

Scotland was colonised by mesolithic peoples, probably from Iberia, the Meditteranean and Africa. They were looking for new lands to hunt and fish; and the retreating glaciers of Scotland gave them lands of rich pickings.