had walls made of a timber frame filled with stone, so this would not have been a very roomy residence.
excavators' theories about the symbol stones:
"In the last few decades, there has been a growing consensus that the symbols on these stones are an early form of language," Gordon Noble, head of archaeology at the University of Aberdeen in the United Kingdom and the senior author of the Antiquity paper, said in a statement.
However, until now, it's been unclear when or how this language developed, with some scholars believing it was invented during the Middle Ages, after the Romans left Britain. . . .
Based on their research, the scientists concluded that the Pictish language was likely developed in the third or fourth century A.D., and it may have been inspired, to a degree, by the Romans, who also used a writing system at the time. However, rather than using Latin (the language of the Romans), the Picts developed a writing style that was quite different from that language, the scientists noted in their study.Which is interesting, but I am still not convinced that the Pictish symbols are a written language at all, because of the lack of repeating phrases. Writing on monuments tends to be full of stock phrases like "X lord of Y" or "A son of B", the sort of thing that has allowed linguists to decipher a few words of Etruscan. But the symbol stones have no such repeated phraseology. If they are writing, they are a different kind of writing than any other system known in Europe. If there is a "consensus," I am not part of it.
The scientists also noted that around the time that the Picts developed their language, a writing system known today as Runes was developed in Scandinavia and parts of Germany. Another system, known as Ogham, emerged in Ireland. . . .
"As with Runes and Ogham, the Pictish symbols were also probably created beyond the frontier in response to Roman literacy," the researchers wrote.