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The development of the Pictish symbol system: inscribing identity beyond the edges of Empire

  • Gordon Noble (a1), Martin Goldberg (a2) and Derek Hamilton (a3)
Abstract

The date of unique symbolic carvings, from various contexts across north and east Scotland, has been debated for over a century. Excavations at key sites and direct dating of engraved bone artefacts have allowed for a more precise chronology, extending from the third/fourth centuries AD, broadly contemporaneous with other non-vernacular scripts developed beyond the frontiers of the Roman Empire, to the ninth century AD. These symbols were probably an elaborate, non-alphabetic writing system, a Pictish response to broader European changes in power and identity during the transition from the Roman Empire to the early medieval period.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence (Email: g.noble@abdn.ac.uk)
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