The Pictish Arts Society

The Pictish Arts Society It is the purpose of the PAS to raise public awareness of the Pictish stones, and to encourage various arts inspired by the symbols and designs depicted on them.
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Membership is open to one and all from across the globe for anyone who has an interest in the Pictish stones and arts

Mission: It is the purpose of the PAS to raise public awareness of the Pictish stones, and to encourage various arts inspired by the symbols and designs depicted on them. Membership is open to one and all from across the globe for anyone who has an interest in the Pictish stones and arts

Operating as usual

AOC Archaeology Group
09/09/2020

AOC Archaeology Group

Today we're marking #HillfortsWednesday with an exciting book release! Get your copy of 'Hillforts of the Tay' – out today! Read about archaeological discoveries at three stunning hillforts in Perthshire, and the community spirit of the Tay LP. We were delighted to be involved in this fab project, more info here: http://bit.ly/HillfortsOfTheTay Buy your copy from Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust: http://bit.ly/PKHTPublications

Stuart Murdoch, sculptor
30/07/2020

Stuart Murdoch, sculptor

Next in my series of carvings on the standing stones for Newtonmore is “The Walker”. The design is influenced by the ‘formidable man’ carving from the Balblair stone. The original (swipe left) shows a man wearing a helmet and carrying a club. My interpretation hopefully symbolises a gender-neutral (difficult to achieve whilst still staying true to the original) walker enjoying the Speyside Way or many trails around the area. Or maybe the pole is an early precursor to the shinty stick?

Aberlemno Village Hall
12/07/2020

Aberlemno Village Hall

The Aberlemno Pictish stones are to be uncovered this week. They were delayed being uncovered from the winter due to the current situation.

**There are four stones with Pictish carvings in the village of Aberlemno, variously dating between about AD 500 and 800. Three stand on a roadside, while one stands in the village churchyard. They comprise:

•a leaning, reused prehistoric standing stone
•an unshaped boulder bearing traces of two symbols
•a magnificent cross-slab
•a sandstone cross-slab in the churchyard **

Dr Oliver O’Grady was, for a short time, a colleague at RCAHMS.  Over the years he has been a regular contributor to PAS...
28/05/2020

Dr Oliver O’Grady was, for a short time, a colleague at RCAHMS. Over the years he has been a regular contributor to PAS lectures and conferences. Oli’s community archaeology projects brought so much new information to light and he will be sadly missed by all who knew and worked with him.

John Borland
PAS President

There is a lot of sadness around the Centre at the moment following the sudden death of one of our close collaborators and part of the extended Falkland network, Dr Oliver O'Grady.

Oliver passed away at home unexpectedly a few days ago.

Commenting on this tragic loss, Stewardship Trust Chairman Joe Fitzpatrick said ''Oliver was a friend and colleague who impressed everyone who had the pleasure of working with him.

He led the three archaeological excavations on East Lomond in 2014, 17 and 19 and his warmth, openness and encouragement were appreciated by all our excavation volunteers and staff.
No one's 'theory' was dismissed and his patient explanations were educative and informative.

He loved being able to engage and involve community members in archaeological discovery and personally speaking, having had a career working in Education and in communities, he and I found much common ground as we planned out the organisation of the excavations on East Lomond".

At an appropriate time in the future the Centre for Stewardship will organise a fitting tribute to someone who shared and gave so much to others, and to whom for many will always have an association with our very own 'Falkland Hill

Scottish Society for Northern Studies
09/05/2020

Scottish Society for Northern Studies

In a parallel universe, we’re currently preparing to welcome delegates to the Conan Stone conference jointly organised by us, NOSAS and The Pictish Arts Society tomorrow morning. This evening we will be officially unveiling the restored stone in its new home at Dingwall Museum...

Sadly, as you will be aware, all these events have been postponed due to the ongoing situation. The organising committee at SSNS, NoSAS and PAS hope that you’re well and safe. We wanted to take this opportunity to share a few photos with you provided by our good friends at Graciela Ainsworth Sculpture Conservation. These pictures of the Conan Stone were taken at the restoration workshop shortly before they closed as a non-essential business. Work is almost complete, and the stone will be delivered to its new home in the Highlands as soon as it is safe and practical to do so!

We’re still eager to hold the planned conference (and we’re most grateful to all our speakers who have agreed to keep their diaries open for us) in the spring of 2021 - we will keep you posted via all our usual channels of communication.

We’re so sorry not to be welcoming you to Inverness tomorrow. But stay safe and we hope to see you soon.

Gordon
15/04/2020

Gordon

Northern Picts Podcast 1 - please watch and share as widely as you can! A laid back tour of some of the golden oldies of the Northern Picts project - excavations at Dunnicaer, Rhynie and the recovery of the Gaulcross silver hoard. Tune in soon for more!

Here is the link to the talk (open in a web browser and press play!):
https://abdn.cloud.panopto.eu/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=54f3f0bf-89a4-4a74-8ed6-ab9e0113c4f6&fbclid=IwAR08_AMP9U-H5de7B3LjdcGbo2cUmhlxSOjSVrBmgIZw7Jbf4o-aZS4pQs0

Katie
15/04/2020

Katie

Hello, I am studying MSc Archaeology of the North at Aberdeen University. I am researching the 1971 and 1972 excavation at Craig Phadrig, lead by Alan Small and Barry Cottam (Dundee University).

A part of my research is trying to understand the social and economic aspects of these excavations and I am reaching out to see if any one knew Alan Small or Barry Cottam or excavated at Craig Phadrig. If so, I would love to interview you for my research. If you are interested just comment below (: Thank you

(Reconstruction draw by David Simon)

Some photos taken at Fowlis Wester with professional lighting for a BBC TV program (Heavenly Gardens with Alexander Arms...
12/04/2020

Some photos taken at Fowlis Wester with professional lighting for a BBC TV program (Heavenly Gardens with Alexander Armstrong) broadcast today and available now on BBC iPlayer.

17/03/2020

Important Notice

All of our spring events- lectures and the May conference have been postponed until later in the year. We are sorry to have to do that but the health and safety of our members and speakers is foremost in our minds at this time. See you later in 2020!

Replica of the Evie Pictish toolbox, photographed by Hamish Lamley at the Brough of Birsay.
16/03/2020

Replica of the Evie Pictish toolbox, photographed by Hamish Lamley at the Brough of Birsay.

16/03/2020

POSTPONEMENT OF THE CONAN STONE CONFERENCE IN INVERNESS
16 March 2020

It is with great sadness that the Scottish Society for Northern Studies (SSNS), the North of Scotland Archaeological Society (NoSAS) and the Pictish Arts Society (PAS) must announce that our joint conference in Inverness on 9 May 2020 to mark the unveiling of the recently discovered Conan Stone has been postponed. This includes the associated field trip on 10 May, as well as all additional events associated with our joint presence in Inverness.

As we are sure you will appreciate, this difficult decision has been made after reviewing the developing situation both internationally and here in the United Kingdom. Our resolution follows weeks of close consultation between our respective association committees and the conference organisers, as well as recognising the obvious concern of some delegates.

Given the current concerns around the COVID-19 outbreak, the risks posed to travel and large gatherings, and our duty of care in relation to the health and welfare of SSNS/NoSAS/PAS members, all registered delegates, invited speakers and other parties involved in the delivery of these events, we have been left with no choice other than to postpone the event.

It is currently proposed that the rescheduled conference will take place in the spring of 2021, with details to be confirmed in January. We will advertise any new details widely via our usual channels.

We fully appreciate what this decision means for delegates who are looking forward to joining us in Inverness for our exciting programme, and we are especially disappointed that we will not be in a position to offer our highly popular field trip. We also recognise the financial implications to many of our registered delegates as a result of this postponement. In light of this, we are offering all delegates a 100% refund of the registration fee. We will be providing more guidance on how to reclaim registration fees shortly.

As members of SSNS, NoSAS or PAS, as well as enthusiastic supporters of the charitable heritage sector in Scotland in general, we are sure that you will be aware that events such as this conference only ever seek to break even and that any surplus tends to be modest. Although we have been fortunate to secure a venue free-of-charge, the organisers have incurred other costs in relation to other suppliers and the programmed speakers that we will honour, but which will lead to a deficit for the conference.

Therefore, given the unusual circumstances, if you feel able to make a donation of your registration fees - in part or in full - to the organisers, that would be most welcome and appreciated, enabling us to cover some unavoidable costs. Any surplus would be spent on educational initiatives relating to the Conan Stone and other public engagement initiatives relating to its installation at the museum in Dingwall, and other appropriate purposes within our respective charitable aims.

We would like to thank all our invited speakers for their generous cooperation, as well as John Borland (President of PAS) for his dedicated commitment to the preparation of this excellent programme. Thanks also to Highland Council for their kind offer of a venue.

Thank you for your continued support and understanding at this very challenging time and we hope to see you at an event organised by SSNS, NoSAS or PAS in brighter times.

Ian Giles, SSNS Treasurer
Roland Spencer-Jones, NoSAS Chair
John Borland, PAS President

14/03/2020

The Pictish Arts Society committee has decided it is better to be safe than sorry. We must cancel the Brechin Town House lecture on Friday 20 March to protect our members, guests and speaker from any possibility of coronavirus infection there.

We consider it the best course of action in the current circumstances.

Some of our audience are not PAS members and so will not receive this notification. If you know anyone who is intending to come on Friday, could you please tell them about the cancellation.

Everything is uncertain because of coronavirus, and all we can say at present is we will review the situation towards the end of the month with regard to the April talk.

(We are hoping that Friday's talk can be rearranged for later in the year.)

With best wishes
PAS Committee

Kirriemuir #5, The Meffan, Forfar.
29/02/2020

Kirriemuir #5, The Meffan, Forfar.

Discover the Picts with expert guide Peter Yeoman
24/02/2020
Discover the Picts with expert guide Peter Yeoman

Discover the Picts with expert guide Peter Yeoman

Long considered to be mysterious lost peoples from a dark age, the Picts helped lay the foundations of modern Scotland and their stories come to life through standing stone-carvings and buildings. Join our expert guide lecturer, Peter Yeoman, on a 7-day tour that explore the Picts in great depth.

15/02/2020
Arbroath2020 A New Stone for St Vigeans

David McGovern of the PAS is carving a new-design Pictish stone for the village of St Vigeans as part of the Arbroath 2020 celebrations. You can follow his progress here.

Follow the design and carving of a new Pictish stone for St Vigeans. Commissioned by Arbroath2020.

Save Wemyss Ancient Caves Society (S.W.A.C.S.)
07/02/2020

Save Wemyss Ancient Caves Society (S.W.A.C.S.)

You may have seen our upcoming event pop up so here are the details;

John Borland is very kindly giving a talk which he's titled "What can the images of armed nobles on Pictish sculpture tell us about their warrior society?" and here is the brief;

From the Annals of Ulster to the writing of Bede, the historical record tells us that the Picts waged war with the Scots, the Britons, the Angles, the Norse and often among themselves. Images of armed Pictish nobles adorn many sculptures and although they relate more often to the pursuit of hunting, they give a good indication of what a Pictish warrior looked like. Other sculptures depict hand-to-hand combat and even armies on the move and a few actually depict battle.

This paper was first delivered to the Society for Church Archaeology conference in 2018, the theme of which was The Commemoration of War to mark the centenary of the end of WWI.

The talk will be held at the Terras Hall and you can follow the event through the page or on Eventbrite (https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/images-of-warriors-and-war-on-pictish-sculpture-tickets-92734241613) for tickets. (Due to space at the hall we do have to limit the amount of visitors)

The 2nd International Day of Celtic Art Conference, Downpatrick
05/02/2020
The 2nd International Day of Celtic Art Conference, Downpatrick

The 2nd International Day of Celtic Art Conference, Downpatrick

Coming together for The 2nd International Day of Celtic Art Conference in Downpatrick, Co. Down, Northern Ireland are artists and archaeologists from USA, Canada, Scotland and Ireland speaking about their work, displaying artworks and doing demonstrations. Daily Details of the Conference: Pre-confer...

Special pre-publication offer (saving £7) on interesting new book by Sally Foster and Sian Jones.
19/01/2020
My Life as a Replica

Special pre-publication offer (saving £7) on interesting new book by Sally Foster and Sian Jones.

Presents an interdisciplinary composite cultural biography the St John’s Cross on Iona and its copies, exploring networks of relationships between things, people and places.

Petty & Ardersier CH Page
02/01/2020

Petty & Ardersier CH Page

News from Pictland
End of 2019, and my ‘Highlight of the Year’ goes to... the revealing of an unknown, undocumented carving on the Kebbuck Stone. Huge thanks to Andy Hickie for working his photogrammetry magic to reveal carvings on both sides of the stone. Only the West face carving had been thought to exist, and now we have evidence that the badly worn east face was also carved with a cross, and that the knotwork designs are different on each side. Another ‘new’ Pictish find to add to the exciting discoveries of 2019 and another part of the Ardersier story. What will next year bring? Happy Hogmanay 🥳

See also

https://scotlandsplaces.gov.uk/digital-volumes/ordnance-survey-name-books/nairnshire-os-name-books-1869/nairnshire-volume-06/23

https://archive.org/details/earlychristianmo03alle/page/n149

https://canmore.org.uk/site/15157/kebbuck-stone

https://her.highland.gov.uk/Monument/MHG45399

http://portal.historicenvironment.scot/designation/SM9433

Detail of the tiny spiral bosses inside the double disk of St Vigeans #6 fragment.
02/12/2019

Detail of the tiny spiral bosses inside the double disk of St Vigeans #6 fragment.

Clan MacAulayAs you know, the Pictish Stone we are raising money for was re-used in the 18th century for the gravestone ...
21/11/2019

Clan MacAulay
As you know, the Pictish Stone we are raising money for was re-used in the 18th century for the gravestone of a Hugh and Alexander McAuley.
The Clan MacAulay Society have taken a close interest in the stone and we are delighted that they have contributed £1000 to our appeal. Well done Clan MacAulay!

We’re very excited to announce a joint fundraising campaign with NOSAS to conserve and display the recently found cross-slab from Easter Ross. Today, we can reveal the cross side of the slab- and it is incredible. We would love to see the stone on display in Dingwall Museum- but we need your help to raise sufficient funds for the repair and conservation before its display.

Wherever you are in the world, if you are interested in Pictish art and history, please make a contribution, no matter how big or small to get this unique stone on display for all.
Https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/SponsorAPictishStone

Address

Brechin Townhouse Museum
Brechin
KY15 5LB

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Comments

Any info about these? Pictish images on steel set on polished rocks Found them in separate charity shops in Kirkcaldy a few years ago.
Picts make it into radio drama
Northern Picts Podcast 1 - please watch and share as widely as you can! A laid back tour of some of the golden oldies of the Northern Picts project - excavations at Dunnicaer, Rhynie and the recovery of the Gaulcross silver hoard. Tune in soon for more! Here is the link to the talk (open in a web browser and press play!): https://abdn.cloud.panopto.eu/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=54f3f0bf-89a4-4a74-8ed6-ab9e0113c4f6&fbclid=IwAR08_AMP9U-H5de7B3LjdcGbo2cUmhlxSOjSVrBmgIZw7Jbf4o-aZS4pQs0
Hello, I am studying MSc Archaeology of the North at Aberdeen University. I am researching the 1971 and 1972 excavation at Craig Phadrig, lead by Alan Small and Barry Cottam (Dundee University). A part of my research is trying to understand the social and economic aspects of these excavations and I am reaching out to see if any one knew Alan Small or Barry Cottam or excavated at Craig Phadrig. If so, I would love to interview you for my research. If you are interested just comment below (: Thank you (Reconstruction draw by David Simon)
f**kin docs in the morning like i hate it, not been in 5 years and that was a f**kin great result , we shall see, still can't drive cos of the balance thing so maybe a chance for a few whiskers if she who must obeyed lets me....
I'm very pleased to say that our book 'The King In the North' has sold so well that it is about to be reprinted! So if you've noticed any typos let us know! And if you haven't bought a copy yet, what are you waiting for!!! All author proceeds goes to the wonderful Tarbat Discovery Centre
I found this in Durres Museum in Albania. Mirror and comb on the marble funerary altar of a lady who died in the 2nd cent AD. I wonder if this imagery was commonly used on such stone monuments in other parts of the empire, including Britain?
Cosmos Pict Petroshpere Sculpted by J K Campbell 2019
Posted on behalf of Helen Mackay: We have a Facebook group, called “Pictish symbols: Art and Context”, which was set up a year ago as a space for friendly but rigourous discussion. Folk are welcome to join, to watch or to engage. The discovery of this new stone has been very exciting, and has generated lots of questions and ideas, of this stone, its artwork, and how the stone relates to things Pictish. One of the first questions has been, what was the symbol at the top, and how would it have sat on the stone? There's a picture posted to the ‘Pictish symbols’ group which attempts to give a general outline of how the serpent/Z would have sat in the missing top where the later inscription has been put. (I can't post the picture here, for some obscure reason!) So many questions have been raised by this stone. What does a CII serpent/Z mean? Why are so many (all?) of them at major monasteries/churches? Does it mean that Dingwall is another monastery? What does a serpent represent for the Picts? Why do some have a Z rod and some not? What does a CI serpent mean? And how could that carry through to a Christian CII context? Can we find serpent mentions within early texts? Myths? Romano-Celtic art? Biblical serpents? Early Christian art? Why does the symbol’s distribution pattern change from CI to CII? Why are there so many ‘battle’ type of icons under the symbols on this stone? What does that imply? What or who are these icons? Where else do we find these icons? What’s with the cows? What relationship does this Dingwall stone have to others? What do we know of Dingwall in history? In political and religious contexts? … the list of questions goes on and on. Anyone who wants to come and help, please do! while we wait with delicious anticipation to see what the cross side of the stone will show. ( Thanks to John Borland for permitting this announcement. ) https://www.facebook.com/groups/296035837625365/about/
Pict petrosphere Sculpted by J K Campbell