Friday, 25 October 2013

Pictish Puzzle

Earlier this month it was reported that a new project was going to be launched to help piece a Pictish stone back together. The stone, from Easter Ross, dates to around the ninth century and has suffered over the years:

At some point it was knocked over and broken, possibly in a storm, and the bottom portion was lost. It is also believed to have been vandalised more than once during the time of the Reformation in the 16th century. 
In 1676 the original carving of the Christian cross was chipped off and replaced with an inscription commemorating a local man, Alexander Duff, and his three wives. 
Recent excavations of the chapel site uncovered the upright base in the ground and more than 3,000 scattered fragments of the face of a cross.

So each of the fragments has been scanned and digitised, and a new website has launched today that invites members of the public to help put the pieces together. Go to and have a go! It seems pretty simple to use, but I think it's safe to say you need to be really good at jigsaws to get anywhere with it...It's kind of addictive, though, even if I'm terrible at jigsaws.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013


If you're looking for some ideas for turnip carving, here's a good link:

Turnip Lanterns (hop tu naa)

From the Manx curriculum website. There's an old photo of 1950s school kids with their lanterns and pictures of more recent examples too.