Guided tours from April to October

Images of Warriors and War on Pictish Sculpture

This week we were treated to a talk by John Borland of Historic Environment Scotland and the Pictish Arts Society on what the images of armed nobles on Pictish sculpture can tell us about their warrior society.

From the Annals of Ulster to the writing of Bede, the historical record tells us that the Picts waged war with the Scots, the Britons, the Angles, the Norse and often among themselves. Images of armed Pictish nobles adorn many sculptures and although they relate more often to the pursuit of hunting, they give a good indication of what a Pictish warrior looked like. Other sculptures depict hand-to-hand combat and even armies on the move and a few actually depict battle.

The paper was first delivered to the Society for Church Archaeology conference in 2018, the theme of which was The Commemoration of War to mark the centenary of the end of WWI.

A good discussion followed.