Pictish stones are monumental
stelaefound in Scotland, mostly north of the Clyde-Forth line. These stones are the most visible remaining evidence of the Pictsand are thought to date from the 6th to 9th centuries.
Purpose and meaning
The purpose and meaning of the stones are only slightly understood. The stones may have served as personal memorials, with symbols for
clans, lineages or kindreds. Some such as the Eassie Stonedepict ancient ceremonies and rituals. [ [http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=17730 C. Michael Hogan, "Eassie Stone", The Megalithic Portal, editor: Andy Burnham, 2007] ] A small number of pictish stones have been found in association with burials, but these were not likely their original locations. The stones may also have marked tribal or lineage territories.
symbols may be a kind of pictographic system of writing and the earliest symbols have been suggested as a system of constellations unique to the Picts. [Martin,H.C. (2007). "The Lost Language of the Stars." Saint André de Valborgne: Virevolte. ISBN 978-2-9530732-0-1.] There are about 35 different symbols on the stones. These include abstract symbols which have been assigned arbitrary descriptive names by researchers (such as "crescent" and "V-rod", "double disc" and "Z-rod") or outline pictures of animals (such as the adder, salmon, wolf, stag, eagle and the mythical Pictish Beast). There are also representations of everyday objects such as the mirror and comb, which could have been used by high-status males. The symbols are almost always arranged in pairs or sets of pairs, sometimes with the mirror and comb below, hence the thinking they could represent lineage or kindred (such as two parents/clans).
The symbols may rarely be found on jewelry, such as silver plaques from the Norrie's Law hoard found in
Fifein the early 19th century. However, very little Pictish metalwork has survived in comparison to neighbouring cultures). The symbols are also sometimes found on other movable objects like small stone discs and bones mostly from the Northern Isles. Simple or early forms of the symbols are carved on the walls of coastal caves at East Wemyss, Fifeand Covesea, Moray.
In "The Early Christian Monuments of Scotland" (1903) J Romilly Allen and Joseph Anderson first classified Pictish stones into three groups. Critics have noted weaknesses in this system but it is widely known and still used in the field.
*Class 1 — unworked stones with symbols only incised. There is no
crosson either side. Class 1 stones date back to the 6th, 7th and 8th centuries.
*Class 2 — stones of more or less rectangular shape with a large cross and symbol(s) on one or both sides. The symbols, as well as
Christianmotifs, are carved in relief and the cross with its surroundings is filled with designs. Class 2 stones date from the 8th and 9th centuries.
*Class 3 — these stones feature no Pictish symbols. The stones can be cross-slabs, recumbent gravemarkers, free-standing crosses, and composite stone shrines. They originate in the 8th or 9th century.
Only a few stones still stand at their original sites; most have been moved to
museums or other protected sites. Some of the more notable individual examples and collections are listed below (n.b. Listing is no guarantee of unrestricted access, since some lie on private land).
*The Craw Stane, a six-foot-high Class I stone on top of a hill near
Rhynie. A salmon and Pictish Beastare carved on the south-facing side.
Dunblane— this Class III stone was found in the foundations of Dunblane Cathedralduring restoration. It can be found inside the Cathedral.
Eassie Stone, stands in the ruined church at Eassie
*Perth Museum, Perth — collection of 3 Pictish stones, "St Madoes 1", "Inchyra" and "Gellyburn".
*Inverness Museum, Castle Wynd,
Inverness— collection of 8 Class 1 stones, including the Ardross "Wolf" and "Deer's Head" (two of the finest surviving animal symbols, probably originally parts of the same slab), and a fragment that matches a piece in Dunrobin Castle.
*Knocknagael Boar Stone, Highland Council HQ, Glenurquhart St,
Inverness— Class 1 stone to be seen through a large window. Found at Knocknagael on the outskirts of Inverness.
*Groam House Museum,
Rosemarkie— collection of fragments of Pictish stones and a Class II cross-slab. The museum also has a collection of photographs of Pictish stones in Scotland.
Strathpeffer— Class I stone
Clach a'Mheirlich, Rosskeen— Class I stone in a field. [Ellen MacNamara, "The Pictish Stones of Easter Ross", Tain, 2003]
Shandwick Stone, Shandwick— Class II cross-slab protected by glass shelter. [Dougla Scott, "The Stones of the Pictish Peninsulas", Hilton Trust, 2004]
*Tarbat Discovery Centre,
Portmahomack— large collection of excavated fragments and information about the Picts.
Nigg Stone, Nigginside the former parish church — Class II cross-slab. A fragment of it can be found in Tain Museum
*Tain and District Museum, Tain — Class I stone in the yard and fragments from Edderton churchyard and Nigg in the museum.
*Sharp Stone (Clach Biorach),
Edderton— Class I stone in a field (probable original position), viewable from the roadside.
*Kincardine Old Church,
Ardgay— coffin-shaped monument.
*Eagle Stone (Clach an Tiompain),
Strathpeffer— early Class I stone.
*St. Demhan's Cross,
Creich— unworked stone with a cross, not fitting in any of the classifications.
*Dunfallandy Stone (Clach an t-Sagairt, 'The Priest'e Stone'),
Pitlochry— fine Class 2 stone ( Historic Scotland).
*Dunrobin Castle Museum,
Golspie— collection of over 20 Class I and II Pictish stones collected by the Dukes of Sutherland.
*St Vigeans Museum,
Arbroath— collection of Pictish and medieval stones. Includes the Drosten Stone, a class 2 cross-slab, one of only two Pictish symbol-stones to carry a non- oghaminscription. Key from Arbroath Abbeyor keyholder in village ( Historic Scotland).
*Aberlemno Pictish stones,
Aberlemno— three slabs by the roadside and one in the churchyard ( Historic Scotland). Boxed during winter months.
*Elgin Museum, High St, Elgin — large collection, largely from Kinneddar churchyard.
Sueno's Stone, Forres— 6.5m-high cross-slab (tallest in British IslesFact|date=May 2008) dating from 9th or 10th century protected by glass ( Historic Scotland).
*Meigle Pictish Stones,
Meigle, near Forfar— Museum in converted school which features possibly the richest display of stones in Scotland ( Historic Scotland, entrance charge).
Toteon the Isle of Skye— Class I stone in small fenced enclosure.
*Trusty's Hill, near
Anwoth, Dumfries and Galloway— a series of Class II stones.
Carved Stone Balls- Pictish symbols, etc.
* [http://www.higharch.demon.co.uk/ The Highland Council Archaeology Unit] — This webpage offers a leaflet in PDF-format about a Pictish Trail from Inverness to Golspie
* [http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/meigle/meiglestones/ Undiscovered Scotland] — Page about the Meigle Pictish Stones Museum with links to other relevant online resources
* [http://www.stams.strath.ac.uk/research/pictish/database.php University of Strathclyde] — Pictish Stones Search Facility, a useful catalogue of the stones.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Pictish stone — Pierres pictes Une copie de la Hilton of Cadboll Stone, sur l emplacement d origine, par Barry Grove; l originale se trouve au musée de l Écosse. Les pierres pictes se trouvent en Écosse, principalement dans les Highlands et en particulier la… … Wikipédia en Français
Pictish language — Infobox Language name=Pictish familycolor=Indo European region=Scotland family=Celtic [This has in the past been disputed, as for instance Jackson s suggestion of two Pictish languages, a Celtic and a non Indo European Pictish; see Jackson,… … Wikipedia
Pictish Beast — The Pictish Beast (sometimes Pictish Dragon or Pictish Elephant) is an artistic representation of an animal, and is depicted on Pictish symbol stones. It is not easily identifiable with any real animal, but resembles a seahorse, especially when… … Wikipedia
Monifieth Sculptured Stones — Monifieth 2, front face The Monifieth Sculptured Stones are a series of five class II and III standing Pictish stones from the early Medieval period found in or around St Regulus church in Monifieth, Angus, Scotland. Uncovered during the… … Wikipedia
Double disc (Pictish symbol) — The double disc is a Pictish symbol of unknown meaning, that is frequently found on Class I and Class II Pictish stones, as well as on Pictish metalwork. The symbol can be found with and without an overlaid Z rod (also of unknown… … Wikipedia
Carnac stones — The Ménec alignments, the most well known megalithic site amongst the Carnac stones … Wikipedia
Callanish Stones — The stone circle at the centre of the Standing Stones of Callanish ( Callanish I ) … Wikipedia
Nine Stones of Altarnun — Nine stones Nine stones … Wikipedia
Sculptured stones — is a name applied to commemorative monuments of early Christian date found in various parts of the British Isles and Scandinavia.They are usually rough hewn slabs or boulders, and in a few cases well shaped crosses, bearing lettered and symbolic… … Wikipedia
Picts — This article is about the Celtic tribes. For the graphic file format, see PICT. The Aberlemno Serpent Stone, Class I Pictish stone, showing (top to bottom) the serpent, the double disc and Z rod and the mirror and comb … Wikipedia