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Photographs Reveal Warrior Image on Scotland’s Tulloch Stone

Friday, February 21, 2020

Scotland Tulloch StoneABERDEEN, SCOTLAND—According to a statement released by the University of Aberdeen, researchers led by archaeologist Gordon Noble of the University of Aberdeen and Mark Hall of Perth Museum have created 3-D images of the Tulloch Stone, a six-foot-tall Pictish monolith discovered during road construction in 2017. The photographs reveal that the male figure carved into the stone is wearing a helmet and necklace. A line around his left ankle could indicate footwear or leggings. He is also shown carrying a distinctive type of spear known to have been used between the third and sixth centuries. Noble said the details of this image, when compared to similar carvings found on other Pictish stones, suggest that the images represent a generic sacred image of a warrior, rather than specific individuals. Hall suggests that such images, when placed at strategic locations or in elite cemeteries, may have conveyed warrior ideology. A war-oriented society may have been better able to resist the rule of the Roman Empire, Noble added. To read about a digital reconstruction of the fragments of a Pictish slab, go to "Game of Stones."

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