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(Re)discovering the Gaulcross hoard

  • Gordon Noble (a1), Martin Goldberg (a2), Alistair McPherson (a3) and Oskar Sveinbjarnarson (a1)

Modern excavations can sometimes provide surprising new insights on antiquarian finds of metalwork. The Pictish silver hoard from Gaulcross in north-eastern Scotland provides an excellent example. Recent fieldwork, including metal-detecting, has clarified the size and composition of the hoard, and uncovered 100 new silver items, including coins, fragments of brooches and bracelets, ingots and parcels of cut, bent and broken silver known as Hacksilber. Comparisons with other hoards and with Pictish symbol stones illustrate the circumstances and date of deposition, the origin of the silver and the forms of society emerging in Scotland in the post-Roman period.

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R. Bradley 1987. Time regained: the creation of continuity. Journal of the British Archaeological Association 140: 117.

D.V. Clarke 2007. Reading the multiple lives of Pictish symbol stones. Medieval Archaeology 51: 1939.

S.T. Driscoll 1998. Picts and prehistory: cultural resource management in early medieval Scotland. World Archaeology 30: 142–58.

M.J. Enright 1982. The Sutton Hoo whetstone sceptre: a study in iconography and cultural milieu. Anglo-Saxon England 11: 119–34.

P. Gleeson 2012. Constructing kingship in early medieval Ireland: power, place and ideology. Medieval Archaeology 56: 133.

S.T. Needham 2001. When expediency broaches ritual intention: the flow of metal between systemic and buried domains. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 7: 275–98.

R. Samson 1992. The reinterpretation of the Pictish symbols. Journal of the British Archaeological Association 145: 2965.

A. Woolf 2006. Dun Nechtain, Fortriu and the geography of the Picts. Scottish Historical Review 85: 182201.

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  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquity
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