The Newton Stones and writing in Pictland, part 2
the Newton Stone ogham, Pictish Latin-letter alphabetic inscription and the Pictish symbol system
Newton Stones, Pictish, Monument planning, Palaeography, Epigraphy, Ogham, Pictish symbols, Antiquarians, Onomastics
Hill by the bridge of Shevock, west of Pitmachie, Newton House, Insch, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, UK
Iron Age, Late Iron Age, Long Iron Age, Pictish, Post Roman, Early Medieval, 19th Century, 20th Century
This article re-evaluates the two inscriptions and the mirror symbol on the Newton Stone. The ogham is unusual in that it is read from the top rather than the bottom. The alphabetic inscription is intended to be read with, or to supplement, the ogham inscription. Close analysis demonstrates that the alphabetic inscription was painted onto the stone prior to carving. The carver may have followed an exemplum for the alphabetic inscription, possibly written on a wax tablet. Examination of the alphabetic script demonstrates that it is most closely related to informal scripts of the Late Antique period. The inscription is written in the Pictish language, and the stone probably dates to the 6th or early 7th century. The placement of the inscriptions and the mirror symbol may indicate that the two inscriptions were used in place of Pictish symbols.