Saturday 28 July 2012

Discovery of early medieval royal stronghold in southwest Scotland

Trusty's Hill Pictish carving. Image: Galloway Picts Project

A recent Heritage Lottery funded archaeological excavation has discovered a hitherto forgotten early medieval royal stronghold in Scotland.

Pictish symbols

Trusty’s Hill, near Gatehouse of Fleet in Dumfries and Galloway, is best known for the Pictish Symbols carved into a natural rock outcrop at the fort’s entrance.  However, in recent years, many historians have begun to doubt whether these carvings were genuine, some even suggesting that the carvings are forgeries. The Galloway Picts Excavation, led by the Dumfriesshire and Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Society and funded in part by the Heritage Lottery Fund, sought to find out why there are Pictish Carvings here, so far from the Pictish heartlands in the north-east of Scotland, and if the carvings are indeed genuine.

Under the direction of two members of the Society, over 60 local volunteers, assisted by professional archaeologists from GUARD Archaeology Ltd, spent two weeks discovering new archaeological evidence that establishes a clear archaeological context for the Pictish Symbols at this vitrified fort.