Initial estimates of the presence of settlers in the Cairngorms had pinned them down to being in the area around the year 5000 BC, though since these findings had always relied on tentative dating of quartz and stone tools which have been found over the years.
Additionally, since the region that these finds have been made in is very cold and inhospitable today, according to the Herald in Scotland (9th July, 2015) the conditions in the much harsher climate of 5000 BC made it seem unlikely that habitation would have been possible before that.
Recently, however, archaeologists and researchers from universities in Aberdeen, Stirling and Dundee, working in conjunction with the National Trust, have been able to verify their findings with radiocarbon dating to find that there have been human inhabitants in the Cairngorms from as early as 8100 BC.
"The earliest dates found by archaeologists come from a site in Glen Dee, at a key stopping point for travellers moving through the highest points of the mountain, between Deeside and Speyside, with links back to north-west Scotland and the North Sea coast."
This news is exciting because it has shown that people inhabitated or at least passed through the area of the Cairngorms up to three thousand years earlier than we had first supposed, when first we had assumed that area to be largely uninhabited during prehistoric times.