Skip to comments.Dig team find proof there were Picts on the Brough of Deerness before the Vikings
Posted on 10/12/2011 4:10:14 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
One of the most significant discoveries of this year's dig is conclusive evidence that the earliest viking houses, thought to date from around AD900, were preceded by a Pictish settlement.
Previously -- excavations were carried out in 2008 and 2009 -- a number of Pictish artefacts had been found on the site, but there was no actual proof that the Picts lived there...
One question that has yet to be answered though, is what happened in the transition between the Pict and the viking villages, and, as yet, no evidence has been found of an integration between the two.
"In terms of the contact between the vikings and the Picts, we've got this massive Viking Age settlement dug into a Pictish site, without there being evidence of a horizon of the mixing of the two cultures," said Dr Barrett... "We've seen that the viking settlement replaced what was there before. Having said that, there are a few caveats, and the first is we've found Pictish-style pottery in the Viking remains. We also don't know whether the viking settlement immediately followed the Pictish settlement, or whether the Pictish settlement had been abandoned for some time before the vikings came."
...What is clear, however, is that the foundations of the 30 viking structures, still visible through the grass, were contemporaneous and were well entrenched in the Brough, which points to an enormous investment of labour...
"Some of the things from the site are objects that have to do with its existence as a chiefly settlement and there are others which are just about the people who lived there and the lives they led, and one of these is a viking gaming board," said Dr Barrett.
"It's actually a Hnefatafl board, a viking game which is a cross between draughts and chess.
(Excerpt) Read more at orkneyjar.com ...
The excavation team on the Brough of Deerness. (Frank Bradford/www.frankbradfordpix.com)
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Whew! I’m glad we got THAT settled!
This could only mean one thing: viking housewives were tidy and didn’t keep any dead Picts lying around.
I was expecting to see several species of small furry animals gathered together and grooving the pict. I was happy to Barrett mentioned, of course. Oh...wait...
This thread is useless without Picts
I have a bone to pict with those Vikings.
Hmmm...sounds suspiciously close to Be a Smurf Day.
The nakedness and the scream manically make all the difference!
Yes. Picts or the chess game never happened.
Cool! Rugged folk.
The Pictish symbol stone was lying prone, under the floor of the property, and appears to have been damaged during the construction of the house, possibly in the 19th century.
Approximately 4ft 6in long, the stone is thought to have been made in the 8th century AD, when Christianity was being brought to Orkney. The carving shows both a Christian cross and a Pictish sea creature symbol.
What no Picts?
They call that Super Bowl Sunday.
Thanks! I hadn’t seen that one. What an interesting site. I noted that “Viking” is never capitalized. :’)
The Brough o’ Deerness
Hmmm...my Y-chromosome haplotype R1b1b2a1a2f* is very common on the Orkney Islands. Perhaps I have some Pictish blood in me (although I don’t look bluish).
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I believe that most of those who lived in Scotland were ethnic Picts with the Scottish representing the Celtic leaders who established themselves in the eyes of foreigners as leaders of a nation but never the real rulers of much of the highlands of what is now Scotland.
And yes a Picture is worth a thousand words.
There were Christian monks living in caves in Southeastern Iceland when the Vikings (or, more accurately, Norwegian explorers) landed there in the mid Ninth Century. Almost no trace of them was left behind, either. It’s either a strange coincidence, or you are correct about the neatness of Viking housewives!
Quite an attractive property. Nice view, but it doesn’t look like the basement would flood very often.
That’s just nit-picting.
When someone Picts me a ‘softball’, I slamb it.
Thanks...you saved me the trouble....;)
Cheers! Nothing like some good old Pink Floyd. The Dr. Barrett mentioned n the article was a grand bonus.
I’m appalled at your attempts at humor on such a important subject.
Archeology in the Orkneys requires serious Pict and shovel work.
O woad! Woad is me!
Some time ago there was a study done on the origin of place names in the north of Britain. The purpose was to see if any trace of the Pitcish language had been left behind as they integrated with the Vikings. Apparently no trace was found in this study and the authors concluded that the Picts had been entirely wiped out and had never integrated.
On a serious note. Professor Stephan Oppenheimer says that there's actually an R1b Orkney marker. The Orkney male marker (Vikings) spread to Iceland along with the female markers from Ireland...that's where they got the women, Ireland. (Some as wives, some as slaves)
“And yes a Picture is worth a thousand words.”
Wasn’t it originally “a Pict is worth a thousand woads”?
“One question that has yet to be answered though, is what happened in the transition between the Pict and the viking villages, and, as yet, no evidence has been found of an integration between the two.”
I’ll take slaughter for 500, Alex.
Seriously, Prof. Oppenheimer needs to get a new day job.
The world economy is faltering and somehow professors keep getting funding for R1b Orkney markers that exist in probably twenty-seven people.
I have no doubt that Orkney males had to drag women from Ireland, kicking and screaming in horror, to those barren ilses.
It’s a long woad to tip an O’leary.
You’re just Pict (ing) on me.
I caber lieve how many FReepers have made Pict jokes, nearly a dozen, and tanistry more than I would have believed possible.
> It’s a long woad to tip an O’leary.
That was a great setup as well. [hat tip]
I knew you would have a good source for this...thanks. So, the fact that my favorite color is blue means nothing...
Round here, we call that “Wednesday.”
Well, like they say, you can Pict your friends and you can Pict your nose but you can’t Pict your friend’s nose........
Whys everybody always Picting on me?
My Wednesday aren't that much fun!
Can you pick a Pict with a pick?
They aren't? Shouldn't you be living the life of Reily?
It could but you'd be hard pressed to prove it.
I kidded my mother and her Southern accent for years...she would say, "You need a haar cut." Then I discovered that haar is Old German for hair. (I wonder where that would lead, lol)
Also, I read a while back that the Southern accent in the US is closer to the accent of the English of the 16-17 century, moreso, than the English spoken by the English themselves today. So....
There's little doubt that, "When in Rome, do as the Romans", leads all the way back to Roman times, eh?
Your preference for blue may have a similar long history. I do strongly believe that these sorts of things persist in families, clans and cultures.
It's Always Something. (IAS)
I should....but its all done with mirrors!