Pictish and Viking-age Carvings from Shetland

Shetland flourished in Pictish and Viking times. Despite lying on the fringes of Europe, these islands were no backwater. A vibrant culture embraced new ideas and produced a wide range of early medieval stone carving. Christianity arrived by the eighth century, bringing literacy and the cults of saints, whose relics were preserved in stone shrines. More than a hundred carved stones survive, from Pictish symbol stones, grave-markers, elaborate cross-slabs and shrine parts, to a Viking hogback monument, runic inscriptions and a unique series of decorated stone discs. Ian G Scott has produced drawings of all of the remaining carvings - many of which are being published here for the first time - and Anna Ritchie sets these fine monuments and their art style within the wider archaeological context of Scotland between AD 600 and AD 1200.