Saturday, November 19, 2011

Pictish Settlement Uncovered

Earlier this year Dr Gordon Noble, from the University of Aberdeen, and Dr Meggen Gondek, from the University of Chester, led the Rhynie Environs Archaeological Project (REAP) in an excavation at the site where carved stones have been found south of the village.

Between AD400-900 it is understood that the kingdoms of the Picts became some of the most powerful political groups in the north of Britain, but there is very little documented history and archaeological record about these people.

Student Robert Lang with spindle whorl from the possible building site near the Craw Stane. Image: University of Aberdeen.

The symbol stones that the Picts left behind are acknowledged to provide a record of their identity, beliefs and lifestyle, although the elaborate carvings on the Rhynie stones have not been translated. In fact, very little direct work has been carried out in relation to the Rhynie stones, until now.

The REAP team’s excavation near the symbol stones – discovered between the 19th century and the 1970s – is one of the first large scale digs at this kind of site.

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