Rare Stone With Pictish Symbols Discovered In Scotland | Smart News

This rare stone covered in carved Pictish symbols is one of 200 such stones that have been discovered.
University of Aberdeen

Researchers have discovered a rare stone with Pictish symbols in a farmer’s field about 20 miles north of DundeeScotland, according to Scottishit’s Alison Campsie. A team from the University of Aberdeen unearthed the five-and-a-half-foot-long stone during a geophysical survey in Aberlemno, according to Heritage Daily.

Calum Petrie writes in the Press and Journal that the team began probing the area with imaging equipment in early 2020. After finding inconsistencies that may indicate a buried settlement, archaeologists began a small test dig to see if they could find any remains. Unexpectedly, they immediately discovered the symbolic stone carved by the Picts, who lived in northern and eastern Scotland from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages.

“We suddenly saw a symbol,” says researcher James O’Driscoll in a declaration. “There were a lot of screams. Then we found more symbols and there was more screaming and a bit of crying!… It’s a feeling that I will probably never have again on an archaeological site. It is a find of this magnitude.

The stone, dated to the fifth or sixth century AD, is an extremely unusual find and is one of only 200 known such stones in the world. Aberlemno is famous for its standing stones with Pictish symbols, the most famous of which is believed to depict scenes from the 7th century Battle of Nechtansmere fought near there. The battle was key to the formation of Scotland, with Anglo-Saxon King Ecfriththe attempted expansion of in the north snuffed out by its defeat at the hands of Pictish ruling King Bridei Mac Bili, according to the Scottish.

Pictish symbols, including triple ovals, comb and mirror, crescent and V-shank, and double discs, are intricately carved on the stone, which appears to have been incorporated into the paving of a building dating from the 11th or 12th century CE, by the statement. This structure was built directly above the layers of settlement dating from the Pictish period.

Now transferred to Graciela Ainsworth’s conservation laboratory in Edinburgh for analysis, the find could prove key to understanding Aberlemno’s significance to the Picts, the statement said. From the Picts left no written recordthe modern understanding of them comes from these symbols and the accounts of later Scottish and Roman writers.

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