Pictavia -The land of the Picts
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The Picts get their name from the Romans, who called them Picti - meaning "The Painted People" in Latin.

Angus Pictish Trail Guide

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Pictish Arts Society Announces Two Lectures In October

The Pictish Arts Society is participating in an extra talk in October, arranged in conjunction with the Perthshire Society of Natural Science. It is hoped that this will be the first in an occasional series of collaborative events. The talk by Dr Gordon Noble will take place at the Perth Museum & Art Gallery at 7.30pm on 16 October.

Dr Gordon Noble has undertaken landscape research and directed field projects across Scotland. He has worked on a wide range of landscapes and archaeology projects from the Neolithic to Medieval periods. He was director and co-founder of Strathearn & Royal Forteviot (SERF) (2005-12), a successful archaeological project researching the prehistoric and early historic landscape at Forteviot, a site that became one of Scotland’s early royal centres. He is currently director of the Rhynie Environs Archaeological Project (REAP) (2005-) and the Northern Picts: the Archaeology of Fortrui (2012-), as well as a number of other field projects in Scotland. Since completing his PhD in 2004, Gordon has held a temporary lectureship in Durham (2004-5) and from 2005-8 undertook postdoctoral research on the perception of the forested environment in the Neolithic at the University of Glasgow. Gordon was appointed as lecturer to the department at Aberdeen in July 2008 and in July 2012 Gordon was appointed Senior Lecturer and is also a Honorary Curatorial Fellow to the University Museums.

The talk is entitled Uncovering the Northern Picts: work at Rhynie, Tarbat and beyond and will outline the recent results of two projects undertaken by the University of Aberdeen – the Rhynie Environs Archaeological Project (REAP) where an early royal centre has been identified and The Northern Picts: the Archaeology of Fortrui – a new field project focused on Tarbat and wider environs and involving survey and excavation of key Iron Age-Pictish sites.

The lecture will take place in the main lecture hall. A £2 entry donation is recommended and tea & coffee will also be available for a small donation.


On Friday 18 October the second lecture in the 2013/2014 season of the Pictish Arts Society will be given at Pictavia, near Brechin, by Candy Hatherley. Candy will speak about The Archaeology of Fortrui Project - Investigating the Tarbat Peninsula.

Candy has worked as a field archaeologist since graduating the University of York in 1996. She has worked throughout the UK, excavating a wide variety of sites from Bronze Age jetties in Southampton to the 19th century prison exercise yards in Perth. Notably she has directed large-scale excavations on prehistoric landscapes in the Fens, a post-medieval glassworks in Glasgow and a 19th century pottery factory in Rutherglen. She has also worked on a wide variety of research and community projects including the Pictish monastery at Portmahomack, Easter Ross, Tell Edfu in Egypt and the Bishop's residence in Skalholt, Iceland.

In 2009 Candy joined Historic Scotland as an Inspector of Ancient Monuments where she dealt with all aspects of Scottish Government Heritage policies and legislation. In 2011 she left the Scottish Government to take up the post of Senior Consultant at Wessex Archaeology in Edinburgh.

Since October 2012 she has been undertaking a PhD at the University of Aberdeen looking at the evolution of high status secular architecture in the Kingdom of Fortrui. The first stage of this research is focusing on the Tarbat Peninsula, investigating enclosed settlements through survey and excavation.

Archaeological investigations by the Department of Archaeology, University of Aberdeen over the past year have focused on identifying possible regional & local centres of power preceding or contemporary with the early medieval Kingdom of Fortrui. Fortrui was potentially the most powerful Pictish Kingdom and is the most cited in historical sources. The Picts were first mentioned in late Roman sources and became the pre-eminent kingdoms of northern and eastern Scotland in the post-Roman period. Recent work by Alex Woolf has located the Kingdom to the Moray Firth area, suggesting that northern Pictland (Aberdeenshire, Morayshire and Ross and Cromarty) was a major player in the political stage in the first millennium AD.

Research has begun on the Tarbat Peninsula, Easter Ross. It is likely that this area, with its well-connected monastic estate and complex monuments, contained contemporary or preceding central settlements. The team has primarily focused on previously uninvestigated enclosed settlements such as hill forts, duns and promontory fort on the peninsula. Extensive new fieldwork, including geophysical survey and excavation, has been undertaken on a number of sites and the results from this work and the future plans of the project will be outlined.

Doors open at Pictavia at 7.00 pm for a 7.30 pm start. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be available before and after the talks. The talks are free to members and £2.50 to non-members.