Pict-ure this: Donside dig finds on display

PICTS: The Craw Stane- with Tap O'Noth hill fort in background.
PICTS: The Craw Stane- with Tap O'Noth hill fort in background.

Never before seen Pictish artefacts, including from Rhynie, will go on show for the first time as part of a University of Aberdeen exhibition.

The items, which include intricate metal work, pins and pendants, will be displayed at the Tarbat Discovery Centre in Portmahomack in the Highlands.

The majority of the finds come from successful digs in Rhynie, which last year uncovered what are thought to be the first Royal Pictish remains in the North-east of Scotland.

Dr Gordon Noble, from the University of Aberdeen’s archeology department, said:“The sites at Rhynie, Tarbat and the Fortriu site in the Moray Firth area have revealed some stunning discoveries and shed more light on the Pictish kingdoms and where their main power bases were situated.

“This exhibition is an opportunity to share these exciting finds with the wider public and to see first-hand some of these beautiful artefacts, some of which are well over 1000 years old, and shed new light on the origins of the Pictish kingdoms.

“One of the highlights is a small, iron axe-shaped pendent which is similar to what the Rhynie Man – a stone carving depicting a Pictish man – is carrying and Scotland’s only known metalworking tongs, symbols of power and authority in the Pictish period”

The discoveries at Rhynie, including metalwork, pottery imported from the Mediterranean and shards of glass from France, have reinforced the belief that the Rhynie area was a high-status site during the 5th-6th centuries.

Also on display are finds from excavations on the peninsula that are ongoing – these have targeted a series of monumental roundhouses dating from the Iron Age.

The exhibition opened at the Tarbat Discovery Centre at the end of March and is set to run until the end of September.

Tony Watson, of The Discovery Centre, said: “We are really pleased to host the launch of this important exhibition from the University of Aberdeen.”