Confession of St Patrick
End of Roman rule
After Roman Rule
The Saxon Invasion
The Age of Saints
Pagan Religions in Britain
Ogham and the Irish in Britain
Scotti and Scots
Dark Age Books
Early Welsh History
Picts, Gaels and Scots
by Sally M. Foster. A fully updated and expanded edition of a classic text on early Scottish history. From the 5th to the 10th century, Scotland was home to a variety of diverse peoples and cultures, all competing for land and supremacy. At the heart of the mystery of how Scotland became a single unified country lies the extraordinary influence of the Picts and their neighbours, the Gaels, originally immigrants from Ireland. Sally Foster uses the latest archaeological discoveries and interpretations as well as developments in historical, art-historical and place-name studies to explain how the Picts and Gaels became Scots and forged a nation.
- UK Pounds
- US Dollars
- Canadian dollars
The Picts - page 2
Inchbraoch no.1 stone
Jackson (1984: 14) reflects the romantic view:
'Just over a thousand years ago Pictish society disappeared as a distinctive
entity but they left behind, as silent witness to their existence, a remarkable
series of sculpted stones that is without parallel in Europe. The prime
purpose of these standing stones was to display symbolic messages about
their society but these, once public, statements are now most secret.'
There are several hundred stones extant which bear these symbols. The
stones themselves range from roughly-dressed to carefully shaped slabs
and some free-standing crosses. However, Jackson argues that the symbols
and designs were relatively uniform, to such a degree that the 'masons
used a pattern-book: actual or mental'. He goes on to conclude that such
stereotyping indicates that they held the same meanings throughout the
Pictish world while the upright nature of the stones indicates public statement.
'The only question is why, and what do they mean?'
Jackson sets out to provide a detailed and densely-written answer which
Foster (2004) feels 'stretches both credulity and comprehension'.
Since then, advances in our knowledge have come from rescue archaeology,
field survey, aerial photography, 'historical, place-name and art-historical
research, enhanced by interpretative analyses of this evidence from a variety
of differing perspectives'. Foster argues that current opinion agrees with
Leslie Alcock's description of the Picts as 'a typical north-west European
barbarian society with wide connections and parallels' and that this was
how they were viewed by their neighbours.
the September/October 2011 issue of British Archaeology describes excavations at a major Pictish site and discusses some of the implications such
"The Rhynie evidence also has implications for our understanding of trade networks and political relationships in sixth-seventh century Britain and further afield.
The imported pottery is highly significant, for it has not been found in Anglo-Saxon or Pictish contexts to date, or east coast sites in Britain
more generally, suggesting that Rhynie had political and trading links with the kingdoms of the west."
Hilton of Cadboll cross-slab
Foster, S.M. (2004), Picts, Gaels and Scots, Historic Scotland/
Jackson, A. (1984), The Symbol Stones of Scotland, The Orkney
The Tribes of Britain
by David Miles. The diverse peoples of Britain and Ireland are revealed not only by physical characteristics but also through structures and settlements, place names and dialects. Using the latest genetic and archaeological research, the author shows how different peoples traded, settled and conquered, establishing the 'tribal' and regional roots still apparent today. Its vast scope considers the impact of prehistoric peoples and Celtic tribes, Romans and Vikings, Saxons and Normans, Jews and Huguenots, as well as the increasing population movements of the last century. Available from:
- British pounds
- US dollars
- Canadian dollars