Pictish Art – Carved Standing Stones
Posted by lahar9jhadav on December 13, 2007
The Picts were among the early inhabitants of what is now Scotland, primarily living in the North
and East. They are famous world-wide for their stone sculptures, which date from the around the
5th to the 9th centuries AD. They were the descendants of the Iron Age tribes indigenous to this
area before the Romans arrived in Britain, and were nicknamed Picti (often thought to mean “the
painted ones”) by classical authors.
No one knows what they called themselves as they left very few documentary sources or
inscriptions. Converted to Christianity, they produced carved stones that often combined their
characteristic Pictish symbols, animals and mysterious abstract shapes with Christian designs and
No one knows the precise meaning of the Pictish symbols – they have puzzled and perplexed
scholars for generations. It seems likely that the Hilton of Cadboll cross-slab was erected to
commemorate an important event or individual, perhaps the female aristocrat who watches over
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