The Picts, the most powerful nation in northern Britain for some 500 years, mysteriously disappeared from contemporary records in the ninth century. All that remains of the language they spoke are a few fragments in the names of places or people. Their most enduring memorial is a unique system of symbols, carved on stone monuments, engraved on objects of silver and bronze, and scratched on the walls of caves—symbols whose interpretation has been elusive as that of Egyptian hieroglyphs before the discovery of the Rosetta stone. In this important book, Dr Cummins tackles the problem of interpreting the symbols. The symbol stones were monuments to named individuals. With this in mind, it is possible to follow up a variety of archaeological and historical clues, to put names to many of the symbols, and to explore Pictish geneaology and social structure.
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