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Inspirational Archaeology

Christian and Pictish Carvings

Inspirational Archaeology

Beautiful Pictish carvings turn into trailblazing Victorian rubbings as one chapter of history seeps into the next. What happens to our heritage when new stories intersect with ancient artwork?

Wemyss Caves in Fife contains the highest number of Pictish carvings anywhere in Scotland, with around 80 carvings of symbols and animals, roughly dating to 600-700 AD.

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Christian Maclagan

Christian Maclagan was arguably Britain’s first female archaeologist and pioneered the recording of carved stones, such as those at Wemyss Caves. As a woman, she could not formally publish with the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and required a man to publish her work under his name. There is a now permanent exhibition of her life and work in her home city at the Stirling Smith Art Gallery & Museum.

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Modern graffiti

It’s not only ancient carvings in the Caves – people have been leaving their mark on the caves from the time of the Picts up to the present day (although we don't recommend adding your own).

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