Barrows and the conversion of the landscape at Forteviot, Perthshire

Maldonado, A. (2017) Barrows and the conversion of the landscape at Forteviot, Perthshire. In: Edwards, N., Ni Mhaonaigh, M. and Flechner, R. (eds.) Transforming Landscapes of Belief in the Early Medieval Insular World and Beyond: Converting the Isles II. Series: Cultural encounters in late antiquity and the Middles Ages, 2 (23). Brepols: Turnhout, pp. 319-350. ISBN 9782503568683 (doi:10.1484/M.CELAMA-EB.5.113595)

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If we are to say anything of substance about the conversion of the Picts, we need to understand not only early Christianity but also the existing cosmology onto which the new religion had to be mapped. The challenge should first be to problematize what we mean by religion itself in this period, and question the extent to which it played a role in the material changes in burial practice in the area which constitutes the Pictish cultural zone from the fifth to ninth centuries. An ideal site with which to embark on a fresh examination of the evidence is Forteviot, Perthshire, which emerges into the historical record of the ninth century as the site of an important Pictish royal palace, monastery, and assembly place, but is now a rural hamlet with several fragments of early Christian sculpture. Between 2007 and 2011, the University of Glasgow’s Strathearn Environs and Royal Forteviot (SERF) project established the broad chronology of this ceremonial centre through targeted excavations and radiocarbon dating of various features across the landscape. By focusing on the later Iron Age and early medieval phases, Forteviot gives us an unprecedented opportunity to study the cosmological terrain before, during, and after the arrival and acceptance of Christianity.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Maldonado, Dr Adrian
Authors: Maldonado, A.
Subjects:C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Archaeology
Research Group:Converting the Isles

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