This stone marks a burial place of importance. Who the deceased was will remain unknown forever. He or she was buried about 1.500 years ago in rural Aberdeenshire. There is nothing spectacular to his place but it is remarkable in many ways.
Standing stones rarely mark burial spots. Most of them have been moved to another more suitable place during the course of history or to a museum for protection. Some have been used in the past as building materials.
The Picardy Symbol stone is different.
It is still where it once was and underneath a small burial cairn has been found. The double disk and Z-rod carving and the serpent an Z-rod underneath are probably an indicator as to who it was that was buried here so long ago. But unfortunately what the symbols signify remains a mystery. The symbols nevertheless document a vivid and exceptional culture of a people that has remained elusive for its lack of written records or oral history.
The Picts were neither a backward nor a primitive culture but one that merged with the Gaelic speaking inhabitants of early Scotland and have left few markers of identity in the process.
The gravestone of Picardy is one of them.
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Scotland is a country full of history, stories and secrets. Often, the three cannot be separated. That is what makes this country so wonderful and unique. The stories of this book have been discovered and gathered for Erkenbach’s blog, Graveyards of Scotland, over many years.
Her main sources were historical travel guides from the 18th and 19th centuries, where the finds were scary, beautiful, funny, and sometimes, cruel.This unusual approach to a country’s history has produced amazing results. You don’t have to share the author’s passion for cemeteries to enjoy this book; only a small number of the stories in this collection take place in graveyards, though they do all end in them, so perhaps it helps.
The fairy hill in Inverness, a nitrate murder on Shetland, a family of left-handers, wolves, Robert the Bruce and William Wallace shown in a new light, the secret bay of the writer Gavin Maxwell, a murdering poet and so many things you didn’t know about Scotland, its clans and its history.
sources and further reading:
Tim Clarkson: The Picts. A History. Tempus, Edinburgh; 2008
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