Final lecture in Pictish Arts series

Brechin Town House Museum
Brechin Town House Museum

The final lecture in the 2014/2015 season of the Pictish Arts Society will be held on Friday, May 15, in association with Angus Council Museums.

The lecture, which will take place in the upstairs gallery in Brechin Town House Museum, will be given by Cynthia Thickpenny and is entitled How Old is the Davoch? Symbol Stones and Medieval Land Organisation in Pictish Speyside.

The davoch, a unit of land organisation in Scotland, first appeared in written sources in the Middle Ages, but is it in fact Pictish in origin? Scholar Alasdair Ross has mapped davochs within the parish boundaries of Moray and identified early medieval patterns in their distribution while the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland investigated the relationship between Pictish stones, prehistoric sites, and parish boundaries in Aberdeenshire.

Cynthia will directly compare Pictish symbol stones and the davochs themselves. In the Inverallan parish in Moray, Pictish stones with identical symbol pairs correspond to individual davochs that may have been tied to a central power centre containing hill forts. These links between the davochs, Pictish symbol stones and early forts offer fresh insight into why the Picts erected stones and how the symbols related to each other in the historically powerful but mysterious northern kingdom of Fortiu.

Cynthia Thickpenny began research of the Picts at the University of California, where she graduated with a BA in History in 2010.

In 2011 to 2013, she received a Marshall Scholarship to undertake postgraduate study at the University of Glasgow. She has remained at Glasgow to study of key-pattern in Insular art with support of a scholarship from the College of Arts.

The Society requests that advance notice be given by anyone attending who may require disabled access. This allows for assistance to be provided and for oversight of the potential requirement of escape in case of emergency. Advance notice may be advised to Stewart Mowatt on 01356 623981.

Doors open at 7 for a 7.30 p.m. start. Refreshments will be available after the talk. They are free to members and £2.50 to non-members.