The Picts

EnolaGaia

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#91
New research suggests the Picts had begun developing their own version of a written language in response to Romans' literacy tools.

'Painted People' in Scotland Developed Written Language 1,700 Years Ago
The Picts, a fierce group of people who lived in Scotland during ancient and medieval times, may have developed their own written language about 1,700 years ago, according to results from new excavations.

The Picts (which means "Painted People" for their distinctive tatoos and war paint) are part of the reason the Roman Empire was never able to conquer Scotland. ...

However, while the Picts were often in conflict with the Romans, new research published today (Oct. 26) in the journal Antiquity, suggests that these people may have gotten the idea for a written language from the Romans. ...

The language is based on a series of symbols the Picts carved on stone, bone, metalwork and other artifacts.

"In the last few decades, there has been a growing consensus that the symbols on these stones are an early form of language," Gordon Noble, head of archaeology at the University of Aberdeen in the United Kingdom and the senior author of the Antiquity paper, said in a statement. ...

However, until now, it's been unclear when or how this language developed, with some scholars believing it was invented during the Middle Ages, after the Romans left Britain.

To solve this riddle, scientists with the Northern Picts Project conducted new excavations at archaeological sites where stones with Pictish symbols had been discovered in the past. ...

Based on their research, the scientists concluded that the Pictish language was likely developed in the third or fourth century A.D., and it may have been inspired, to a degree, by the Romans, who also used a writing system at the time. However, rather than using Latin (the language of the Romans), the Picts developed a writing style that was quite different from that language, the scientists noted in their study. ...

"As with Runes and Ogham, the Pictish symbols were also probably created beyond the frontier in response to Roman literacy," the researchers wrote.
FULL STORY: https://www.livescience.com/63933-picts-developed-written-language.html

ABSTRACT from the Antiquity article:
https://www.cambridge.org/core/jour...es-of-empire/4F09B9C943A1C29F226591A20BEC5248
 

Ermintruder

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#92
https://www.ross-shirejournal.co.uk/news/rare-pictish-stone-found-in-easter-ross-182042/
https://www.ross-shirejournal.co.uk/
Rare Pictish stone found in Easter Ross
Published: 16:04, 23 August 2019
Cleaning the stone ahead of its uplift.
THE discovery of a previously unknown carved Pictish stone at an early Christian church site in the Dingwall area is of “national importance” and a "once in a lifetime find", delighted archaeologists believe.
The stone, which was thought to have to been carved around 1200 years ago, is decorated with a number of Pictish symbols and it is likely to have originally stood more than two metres high.
It was first recognised earlier this year by Anne MacInnes of the North of Scotland Archaeological Society whilst undertaking a survey of the church site.
She said: “I was clearing vegetation when I spotted the carving. I really couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”
I find it fascinating & inspiring that there are still major Pictish archaeological discoveries waiting to be made on the tiny & well-trod island of Great Britain.

The Pictish designs on stones and jewelry are truly intriging...especially the 'cups & Zs'
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_disc_(Pictish_symbol)
 

Nemo

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#93
Large '1,400-year-old cemetery' uncovered in Highlands


What could turn out to be one of Scotland's largest Pictish burial grounds is being excavated on the Black Isle in the Highlands.
Archaeologists have confirmed the presence of a number of barrows, or burial mounds, near Muir of Ord.
Enclosures ranging in size from about 8m (26ft) to more than 40m (131ft) across have also been uncovered.
Archaeologists said the possible Pictish barrow cemetery could be about 1,400 years old.
(c) BBC.'19
 

Kingsize Wombat

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#94
More News from the Muir of Ord site:

Archaeologists have excavated the partly-preserved remains of a Pictish skeleton at a 1,400-year-old cemetery in the Highlands.

The skeleton was found on the last day of a two-week dig at Tarradale near Muir of Ord on the Black Isle.

Due to the acidity of the soil, no remains of human bodies had been found until the "surprise discovery".

Archaeologists say the cemetery is one of Scotland's largest recorded Pictish burial grounds.
The whole story and pictures:
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-49809023


 

Vardoger

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#95

EnolaGaia

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#96
Almost off topic question. Had the natives in England and Wales developed a written language before the Romans occupied it?
I think the fair response is "no - based on the evidence to date."

There's no question that the various Celtic dialects (of which Pictish is sometimes included as one) were capable of being transcribed into written form using the Latin alphabet the Romans introduced to the territory. See, for example, this discussion regarding "curse tablets" from the period of Roman occupation:

https://www.academia.edu/2567392/Ev...nguistic_analysis_of_Tabellae_Sulis_14_and_18

AFAIK there's no evidence of general written language usage prior to the Roman period. My off-the-cuff take on the situation is that the relatively well-developed Celtic spoken dialects were quite amenable to written form once the concept of a phonetic alphabet and associated orthography were introduced. It's not clear to me whether the concept of writing, the regularized alphabetic / orthographic means for writing, or both were the ingredients missing (or perhaps never exploited) until the Romans' arrival.
 

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#97

EnolaGaia

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#98
... I wondered if this inherent article was perhaps relatively unknown and of further interest.
http://www.orkneyjar.com/history/picts/language.htm
Yes ... That article provides a good summary of the competing theories about the relationship (if any) between the Picts' language and the other Celtic language groups on the isles. Some scholars suggest Pictish was an unrelated Pre-Celtic language, while others argue that it was a relatively isolated or idiosyncratic offshoot of the Celtic language "family tree" (of which two particular branches are usually nominated as the predecessors).

These competing proposals tend to be promoted on different grounds and different surviving evidence, making it difficult to directly compare any one against the others.

I suspect so much linguistic / historical change, adaptation and other encrustations have been overlaid onto the original Pict language that its lineage and original form(s) may never be reliably known.
 

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#99
Yes ... That article provides a good summary of the competing theories about the relationship (if any) between the Picts' language and the other Celtic language groups on the Isles.

[...]

I suspect so much linguistic / historical change, adaptation and other encrustations have been overlaid onto the original Pict language that its lineage and original form(s) may never be reliably known.
Delighted this article was evidently also worthwhile noting.

I found it, not only so fabulously presented online, just encapsulated the intrinsic elements.

If I ever get this Time Machine working... Will defo give you a call...
 

Bigphoot2

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Pictish carved beasts unlike any other found
Pictish carved beasts 'unlike anything found before'
  • 14 October 2019


A 1,200-year-old standing stone discovered in the Highlands has carvings never before seen on a Pictish stone, archaeologists have said.
The stone was found lying in the ground and covered by vegetation at an early Christian church site near Dingwall.
Archaeologists have now revealed the side of the stone that was down in the earth and hidden from view was decorated with "two massive beasts".
Just over a metre of the original two metre-tall (6ft) stone survives.
etc
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-50040798
 

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The two beasts remind me of hogbacks.
Surely not alone in having to look this up...! So... Anglo-Scandanavian, 10-12th century and found in Scotland? From the brief articlle - need more details! -is it reporting the re-use of our pictish stone as a later Roman grave marker? How awesome would that be!
 

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Comfortably Numb

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Hogbacks - "Viking" grave markers, here are some that are close to me - they also occur in Yorkshire, for example...
..... bit stunned to become aware of same. So... how do we conclude this evidently has its origins going back to the picts... at least...?
 

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Orkney link to Pictish man buried in Highland cave

A Pictish man who was killed and then buried in a cave in the Highlands 1,400 years ago had links to Orkney, according to genetic analysis.
Archaeologists found the man's skeleton buried in a recess of a cave at Rosemarkie in the Black Isle in 2016.
He was discovered with stones weighing down his limbs while his head had been battered multiple times.
Researchers have compared his nuclear genome with a worldwide dataset of ancient and modern populations.
His genetics were found to be most similar to other Iron Age individuals from the Knowe of Skea in Westray in Orkney.
Further more detail analyses as part of the Rosemarkie Caves Project are continuing.
(C) BBC. '19
 

Nemo

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Ancient Caithness settlement investigated by archaeologists

Archaeologists are investigating what could turn out to be some of Scotland's best preserved Pictish homes.
The dwellings called wags, a type of longhouse, at Wag of Forse in Caithness may have been occupied by Picts from about 1,400 years ago.
The ruined properties form part of a settlement that also includes an Iron Age stone tower known as a broch.
Archaeologists know people lived in the settlement south of Wick over different periods of time in the past.
However, Pictish occupation has never been confirmed.
(C) BBC '19
 

Comfortably Numb

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Celtic warrior from 2,000 years ago buried in chariot with weapons and ponies hailed as most important find of its kind in UK

Source: independent.co.uk
Date: 6 December, 2019

A Celtic warrior’s grave containing weapons and upright pony skeletons has been described by experts as a unique and significant discovery for the UK.

A 2,000-year-old shield, which was found next to the ancient Briton’s remains, is “the most important British Celtic art object of the millennium”, said Dr Melanie Giles, of the University of Manchester.

https://www-independent-co-uk.cdn.a...3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&amp_tf=From%20%251%24s
 

AlchoPwn

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I have heard that the knotwork of these cultures is based on human hair and its nightly misbehavior. Can anyone confirm or deny this? Also, was knotty hair used in divination?
 
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