A major exhibition revealing new discoveries in Scottish archaeology will open at the Hunterian Art Gallery this September.
Cradle of Scotland explores the results of 10 years work by the University of Glasgow’s Strathearn Environs and Royal Forteviot Project, known as SERF.
Led by a team of archaeologists from the University, the project examines the rich archaeological landscapes of Forteviot in Strathearn, Perthshire, and has resulted in a number of major new archaeological discoveries.
No place has a better claim to be the ‘cradle of Scotland’ than Forteviot, where a Pictish royal palace was built alongside one of the most impressive ancient ceremonial complexes in Britain. Cropmarks, sculptures, buried structures and artefacts all reveal the important story of Forteviot over three millennia.
Through excavation, aerial reconnaissance, radiocarbon dating, archaeological reconstruction and 3D visualisation, Cradle of Scotland explores the evolution of society from loosely connected communities in prehistory to the centralised kingdom of historic Alba (Gaelic for ‘Scotland’).
The exhibition begins with the arrival of the first farmers in the Neolithic period (c. 2700 BC) and closes when Pictish royal power reaches its height (c. AD 850), covering four key stages in time and place: Prehistoric Forteviot with its massive henges and rare dagger burial; Iron Age Hillforts which were at their peak in the 7th – 5th centuries BC; Caledonians and Romans, a time of conflict, trade and change which gave birth to the Picts; and Royal Forteviot, when Forteviot was a royal residence for both the Pictish kings and the first kings of Alba.
Highlights include a 3D model of Constantine’s Cross; fragments of monumental sculpture found at Forteviot including the Forteviot Cross; the Forteviot Hand Bell; the Forteviot Dagger; and the reconstruction of a cist or burial pit excavated at Forteviot. Cradle of Scotland combines original artefacts with replicas and visualisations, creating a stunning exhibition that explores the latest developments in Scottish archaeological practice.
Cradle of Scotland is jointly curated by The Hunterian and Perth Museum and Art Gallery. It will go on show at both venues, opening at The Hunterian on 3 September 2015 and then Perth Museum and Art Gallery in Spring 2016. Admission is free. Cradle of Scotland is supported by Museums Galleries Scotland (Strategic Investment Fund).
Cradle of Scotland
3 September 2015 – 3 January 2016
Hunterian Art Gallery
Open Tuesday - Saturday 10.00am - 5.00pm and Sunday 11.00am - 4.00pm