The development of the Pictish symbol system: inscribing identity beyond the edges of Empire

Noble, G., Goldberg, M. and Hamilton, D. (2018) The development of the Pictish symbol system: inscribing identity beyond the edges of Empire. Antiquity, 92(365), pp. 1329-1348. (doi:10.15184/aqy.2018.68)

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Abstract

The date of unique symbolic carvings, from various contexts across north and east Scotland, has been debated for over a century. Excavations at key sites and direct dating of engraved bone artefacts have allowed for a more precise chronology, extending from the third/fourth centuries AD, broadly contemporaneous with other non-vernacular scripts developed beyond the frontiers of the Roman Empire, to the ninth century AD. These symbols were probably an elaborate, non-alphabetic writing system, a Pictish response to broader European changes in power and identity during the transition from the Roman Empire to the early medieval period.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Thanks go to Gail Drinkall (Orkney Museum) and our funders: Aberdeenshire Council Archaeology Service, Historic Environment Scotland, The Strathmartine Trust and the University of Aberdeen Development Trust. The writing of this article was also supported by a Leverhulme Trust Research Leadership Award (RL-2016-069).
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hamilton, Dr William and Noble, Mr Gordon
Authors: Noble, G., Goldberg, M., and Hamilton, D.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Antiquity
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN:0003-598X
ISSN (Online):1745-1744
Published Online:26 October 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 Antiquity Publications Ltd
First Published:First published in Antiquity 92(365): 1329-1348
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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