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Title: Reading the stones : the Pictish monuments on Tarbat peninsular, Easter Ross
Author: Meyer, Kellie S.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2690 7225
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2004
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This thesis examines the Pictish carved stones from the Tarbat peninsula, which include the cross-slabs at Nigg, Shandwick and Hilton of Cadboll, as well as the numerous fragments from Portmahomack. While many of these have been previously mentioned by scholars, they have never been closely studied as a group that might express a coherent political and/ or spiritual program, and which may contribute to the understanding of the Pictish settlements on the peninsula. In order to do so the known cultural background of the early medieval world is initially investigated to provide a context within which to study this group of carvings. This investigation includes a survey of the historical and literary texts, and the history and liturgical practices of the church in the Insular world. Once this background is presented, each individual site and carving is thoroughly explored as regards historiography and archaeological context (as it is known so far). The decoration on each monument or carved fragment is then scrutinized in order to place the work in an art-historical context. Once this has been done, the iconographic significance of the images carved on these stones is determined, and the iconology of the monuments surmised. The monuments of the Tarbat peninsula thus emerge as complex conveyers of meanings both sacred and secular. Placed within the context of the 8th to mid 9th - century Insular world they strongly support the argument that the Tarbat peninsula was home to an important and influential monastic estate with possible royal ties, which had established links with other ecclesiastical sites throughout Britain and Ireland, and contacts with the Continent and the Eastern Mediterranean.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available