A stunning 3D reconstruction of a Pictic fort has been unveiled that brings an old Scottish settlement back to life.
The remote fort dates back to around 1,700 years and is located on top of a 20-meter-high sea stack and was first excavated in 2015.
Analysis of the digestion found that it was likely cut off at high tide and researchers at the University of Aberdeen visualized what it would look like if it were still attached to the mainland.
Found at the top of the Dunnicaer sea stack close to Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, it appears to have been built with stone imported from elsewhere in the country.
The site is close to the ruins of the castle of Dunnotar, which in itself is an important Pictic settlement in the history of Scotland.
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Analysis of the digestion noted that it was probably cut off from the mainland at peak times and researchers at the University of Aberdeen have visualized what it would look like if it were still attached to the mainland (photo)
The video illustrates what it would look like if the settlement had never been separated from the mainland.
The archaeologists recruited a team of experienced mountain climbers to scale up the huge drops of Dunnicaer.
Partial remains of houses were found on the edge of the cliff, showing that a large part of the settlement had fallen into the sea.
Remnants of peat and wooden structures with preserved floor layers and fireplaces were also discovered.
It also suggests that there was room for a premium because some fireplaces were built on top of each other.
Evidence of Roman pottery and glass was also found, indicating that the inhabitants had strong ties with the empire.
It seems that the site was eventually abandoned in the late fourth or early fifth century and the population migrated to nearby Dunnotar.
Dunnotar grew in number and was considered the elite center of Pictic society in the seventh century.
It was lost for centuries because the vertical drops and erratic cliffs made it inviolable.
A group of youngsters from Stonehaven conquered the pile in 1832 and found a large number of decorated and carved Pictic symbol stones.
The rebellious teenagers threw some of them into the sea and the priceless objects had to be found at a later date.
Pictic symbol stones are a unique carving tradition that may have mentioned high status names.
The radio-carbon dates for the settlement suggest that these stones are perhaps the earliest in woodcarving.
Professor Gordon Noble of the University of Aberdeen, said in 2015: & # 39; As young people they did what young people did and threw them into the sea.
The video illustrates what it would look like if the settlement had never been separated from the mainland. The archaeologists recruited a team of experienced mountain climbers to scale up the huge drops of Dunnicaer
Remnants of peat and wooden structures with preserved floor layers and fireplaces were also discovered. It also suggests that there was room for a premium because some of the fireplaces were built on top of each other
WHAT WAS DUNNOTAR CASTLE?
Dunnotar Castle is a destroyed medieval fortress on the north east coast of Scotland.
It is approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) south of Stonehaven.
The remaining buildings are largely from the 15th and 16th centuries.
The population is thought to swell when the Dunnicaer sea stack was separated from the mainland and the residents either strengthened the Dunnotar ranks or founded it.
A Scottish force under William Wallace conquered the castle in 1297.
The English garrison sought refuge in the church, but Wallace burned the church with the soldiers in it and destroyed the castle.
It also had visits from famous princes Mary Queen of Scots and James VI.
The castle slowly fell into disrepair and an attempt to save its remains was assembled in 1925.
& # 39; One of them later returned to collect one of the stones and a few have since been found. They had cut rough designs into it. & # 39;
When Dr. Noble and his team from the Northern Picts project carried out a five-day excavation at the top of the site, they revealed the remains of what appears to be a wall of a wall.
They also found post holes and the remains of a hearth that appeared to have been in a house built inside the fort. They even found charcoal in the stone fireplace.
Noble said that there might have been a settlement on the land behind the fort, although the Picts built their houses largely out of wood, it would be difficult to find many remains.
More recently, Professor Gordon Noble said: “We always knew that Dunnicaer was a site of great importance, but conducting an archaeological investigation was hampered by the site's inaccessibility.
& # 39; Thanks to the help of mountain climbers, we were able to create extreme archeology! & # 39;
The small fort was discovered on top of the Dunnicaer sea stack (shown above) and would have given the residents a strong defensive position
The Dunnicaer sea stack is located just off the east coast of Scotland near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire
The researchers also found evidence for post holes (above) that were used in the fort walls during the 2015 excavation
To reach the site, the team had to use the services of professional rock climber Duncan Patterson, who climbed the sea stack and put ropes in place.
& # 39; Although it was already in an eroded state, it is likely that the access was considerably greater during the time of the Picts, making it a suitable location for a settlement, & # 39; he added.
& # 39; This video helps to fully visualize what the fortress looked like in the fourth century, which we think helps to bring to life the lives of the Picts, who are so poorly understood due to the lack of historical data .
& # 39; We are so happy that we were able to do the Dunnicaer graves right now. Coastal erosion is a major threat to archaeological sites of this type and the remaining pile will continue to erode. & # 39;
The Picts were a group of tribes that lived in the east and north of Scotland.
Although they are best known for the carved stones and jewelry that they left behind, it is thought that they were farmers, but also involved in sea raids.
Archaeologists discovered the fort on Dunnicaer after following reports that Pictic stones had been found when a few local youths climbed the sea stack.
WHO WERE THE PICTS?
The Picts were a collection of tribes that lived in what is today Eastern and Northern Scotland during the Late Iron Age and early Medeival periods of around 270-900 AD.
They formed a tribal confederation whose political motives stemmed from the need to unite against common enemies such as the British and the Romans.
They have long been seen as fearless savages who fought the most difficult legions of Rome and refused to surrender their liberties to live in conventional society.
But this wild reputation is perhaps undeserved.
They built an advanced culture in northern Scotland and were in many ways more sophisticated than their Anglo-Saxon rivals.
Mel Gibson & # 39; s blue face paint in Braveheart (photo) is a nod to the Pictic tradition of body paint
As a people, research has shown that they were sophisticated, hardworking, and competent in many ways.
We increasingly notice that this & # 39; lost & # 39; people – who have somewhat disappeared from history – were able to build great art and beautiful monasteries.
The Roman name for the people – Picti – means & # 39; painted people & # 39 ;. It is not known what they called themselves.
Mel Gibson & # 39; s blue face paint in Braveheart is a nod to the Pictic tradition of body paint – but the real Picts fought starkly naked, and there are reports that they did that until the 5th century.
The habit of fighting naked, especially in the cold Scottish climate, has not damaged the reputation of the tribe for cruelty.
Picts kept the area north of the Firth of Forth in Scotland – and was one of the reasons that even heavily armed Roman legions could not conquer Scotland.
The Picts mysteriously disappear from the written history around 900AD.
Experts suggest that they probably merged with Southern Scots, which already had a written history by then, and the history of the two clans together.
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