John Mercer (archaeologist)

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John Barry Mercer (1934 - July 1982) was a British archaeologist, author and weaver.

Born in Las Palmas, Canaries to British parents, he was educated in Spain and England.[1] He moved to Lealt on the Scottish island of Jura in the 1960s where he spent more than a decade researching and excavating Jura and establishing it as a significant Mesolithic site.[2][3]

Mercer wrote a children's novel, Lizard Island Expedition (1965), drawing on his own experiences in the Balearics. He also published a guidebook to the islands of Colonsay, Gigha and Jura (1974) and several books on the Canary Islands. He also published a history of wool spinning.

Partial Bibliography[edit]


Lizard Island Expedition (novel), Oliver and Boyd, 1965.
Canary Islands: Fuerteventura, David & Charles, 1973.
Hebridean Islands: Colonsay, Gigha, Jura, Blackie, 1974.
Spanish Sahara, Allen & Unwin, 1976
The Spinner's Workshop, Prism Press, 1978
The Canary Islanders : their prehistory, conquest, and survival, Collings, 1980.

Academic Papers[edit]

Mercer, J (1968) 'Stone tools from a washing-limit deposit of the highest postglacial transgression, Lealt Bay, Isle of Jura', Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (Proc Soc Antiq Scot), 100 (1967-8), 1-46.
Mercer, J (1970) 'Flint tools from the present tidal zone, Lussa Bay, Isle of Jura, Argyll', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 102, (1969–70), 1-30.
Mercer, J (1971) 'A regression-time stone-workers' camp, 33 ft OD, Lussa River, Isle of Jura', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 103 (1970-1), 1-32.
Mercer, J (1972) 'Roomed and Roomless Grain-Drying Kilns: the Hebridean Boundary?', Transactions of the Ancient Monuments Society (Trans Ancient Mon Soc), New Series, 19 (1972), 27-36.
Mercer, J (1972) 'Microlithic and Bronze Age camps, 75–26 ft OD, N Cam, Isle of Jura', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 104 (1971-2), 1-22.
Mercer, J (1974) 'Glenbatrick Waterhole, a microlithic site on the Isle of Jura', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 105 (1972-4), 9-32.
Mercer, J (1980) 'Lussa Wood I: the late-glacial and early post-glacial occupation of Jura', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 110 (1979–80), 1-31.
Mercer, J and Searight, S (1986) 'Glengarrisdale: confirmation of Jura's third microlithic phase', ''Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 116 (1986), 41-55.


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