This Carving Is Helping Archaeologists Unravel the Secrets of Ancient Scottish Warriors

by Brigit Katz/Smithsonianmag.com

In 2017, road workers in Perth, Scotland, stumbled upon a hulking stone lying about three feet belowground. Etched with the outline of a human figure carrying a spear, the ancient carving was faint, leading experts to use high-tech methods like 3-D imaging and photogrammetry to recreate it.

Now, writing in the journal Antiquity, researchers have revealed new details about the mysterious figure—including, among other things, his “pronounced” buttocks and “robust” torso.

Known as the “Tulloch Stone” in a nod to the area where it was found, the monolith dates to the first millennium A.D., when northern and eastern Scotland were occupied by the Picts, a confederation of tribes perhaps best known for their bitter conflicts with the Romans. The Picts left behind hundreds of still-mysterious monumental stones engraved with depictions of humans and animals, as well as abstract and geometric symbols.

The warrior carved onto the Tulloch Stone wields a spear with a “kite-shaped blade and a doorknob-style butt,” according to a new study. (University of Aberdeen)

In the case of the Tulloch Stone, the figure depicted is clearly a warrior. His spear boasts a kite-shaped blade and what the study’s authors deem a “doorknob-style butt.”

The shape of his head is crested, which the study says “probably indicates an elaborate hairstyle rather than a helmet or other headgear.” Lines across the warrior’s ankles

Biography
Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master’s of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator.

She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen – two daughters-in-law; Suzy and Katie – two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia – and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with husband Gordon Duff, many cats, and two rescue pups.

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