John Mercer (archaeologist)

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

Born in Las Palmas, Canary Islands, 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.

Selected bibliography


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

  • "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.
  • "Flint tools from the present tidal zone, Lussa Bay, Isle of Jura, Argyll", Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 102, (1969–70), 1–30.
  • "A regression-time stone-workers' camp, 33 ft OD, Lussa River, Isle of Jura", Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 103 (1970-1), 1–32.
  • "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.
  • "Microlithic and Bronze Age camps, 75–26 ft OD, N Cam, Isle of Jura", Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 104 (1971–2), 1–22.
  • "Glenbatrick Waterhole, a microlithic site on the Isle of Jura", Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 105 (1972-4), 9–32.
  • "Lussa Wood I: the late-glacial and early post-glacial occupation of Jura", Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 110 (1979–80), 1–31.
  • (with S. Searight) "Glengarrisdale: confirmation of Jura's third microlithic phase", Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 116 (1986), 41–55.


  1. ^ "Books on Ibiza", Ibiza History & Culture.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-23. Retrieved 2011-04-25.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-11-24. Retrieved 2011-04-25.

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