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Scotland in Pagan Times; The Iron Age

Scotland in Pagan Times; The Iron Age
Category: Scotland / Antiquities
Title: Scotland in Pagan Times; The Iron Age
Release Date: 2018-08-30
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
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SCOTLAND IN PAGAN TIMES
Printed by R. & R. Clark
FOR
DAVID DOUGLAS, EDINBURGH
LONDON HAMILTON, ADAMS, AND CO.
CAMBRIDGE MACMILLAN AND BOWES.
GLASGOW JAMES MACLEHOSE AND SONS.
ABERDEEN LEWIS SMITH AND SON.

THE BROCH OF CLICKAMIN, NEAR LERWICK, SHETLAND.

SCOTLAND
IN
PAGAN TIMES

The Iron Age
THE RHIND LECTURES IN ARCHÆOLOGY
FOR 1881
By JOSEPH ANDERSON, LL.D.
KEEPER OF THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE
ANTIQUARIES OF SCOTLAND

Ornament of Bronze Mirror.

EDINBURGH: DAVID DOUGLAS
1883
All rights reserved.

PREFATORY NOTE.

On the conclusion of my second series of Lectures onScotland in Early Christian Times, the Council of theSociety of Antiquaries of Scotland having done methe honour of again appointing me to the Rhind Lectureshipfor a term of two years, that I might dealwith the antiquities of the Pagan Period in Scotland,I have devoted the present series of Lectures to theinvestigation of the remains of the Iron Age, leavingthose of the Bronze and Stone Ages to be dealt within the succeeding series.

I have to thank the Council for their permissionto use such of the Society’s woodcuts as might be suitablefor the illustration of the Lectures, and my thanksare also due to Mr. J. Romilly Allen for the use ofsome of his drawings and measurements of Brochs, toMessrs. Chambers for the view of the Broch of Mousa,and to Mr. Thomas S. Muir for the use of his etchingof the Broch of Clickamin, which forms the frontispieceto the present volume.

J. A.
14 Gillespie Crescent, Edinburgh,
15th March 1883.
vii

CONTENTS.

LECTURE I.
 
CHRISTIAN AND PAGAN BURIAL—VIKING BURIALS.
 
viiiReasons for the division of the general subject into two sections, comprising Christian Times and Pagan Times—Survival of Pagan customs in Christian burial—Burial clothed, and with arms, ornaments, and insignia of office—Burial with shoes on the feet—Burial with holy-water vessels—Burial with incense vases of clay—Viking burials—Graves in the sandhills at Ballinaby, Islay—Their characteristics—Arms, implements, and ornaments associated with them—Characteristics of the art of these objects—Their art not Celtic—Phenomena of the burials not Christian—Their unusual and suggestive character—Determination of the typical relations of the objects found in the graves—The sword, spear, and shield are of the Viking types—The brooches and silver ornaments are of Scandinavian types—Comparison of their art with the art of the Celtic school—No such groups of arms and ornaments associated with Celtic burials—Their forms are those of the Norwegian area—Typical character of the Norse burials of the heathen Viking time—Burials, burnt or unburnt, with grave-goods—Identity of their characteristics with those of the Islay burials—Determination of the area of this type of burial in Scotland—Other burials of the same type in Islay, in Mull, in Tiree, in Barra, in Sangay, in St. Kilda, in Sutherland, in Caithness, in Orkney, in Shetland—Character of the art of the Norse brooches of the Viking time—Their number in Scotland exceeds that of the Celtic brooches—This excess an archæological result of the difference between Paganism and Christianity—The range of the Viking burials in Scotland establishes an archæological area coincident with the area colonised by the Norwegians—Viking graves in Eigg—A Viking cemetery in Westray, Orkney—Ship-burial in Scotland—Testimony of the earlier Sagas—Evidence of the grave-mounds—A ship-burial, burnt, at Möklebust—Ship-burials, unburnt, at Tune and Gökstad Pages 1–65
 
 
LECTURE II.
 
NORTHERN BURIALS AND HOARDS.
 
Modified types of the intruded Paganism of the northern area—Burials with urns of steatite in Orkney and Shetland—Their relation to Norwegian burials in the Pagan Period of the Viking time—Deposits of objects not associated with burials—Hoard of silver ornaments found at Skaill, Orkney—Dated by Kufic and Anglo-Saxon coins found in it—Typical characteristics of its brooches—Special features of their ornament—Characteristics of its neck and arm rings—Difference in character from the Norries Law hoard—No other hoard of similar character found in Scotland—Similar hoards found in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark—Character of the objects found in them—Question of their Oriental origin—The hoard of silver ornaments found at Cuerdale—Character of its brooches—Some of them distinctively Celtic—Determination of the typical relations of the Skaill brooches—Their form Celtic—Their art partly Celtic and partly Scandinavian—Its affinities with the art of the Scandinavian Pagan times—A figure like that of the god Thor represented on one of the Skaill brooches—Thor’s hammer—Thor’s face as represented on monuments—The mixed art of these brooches implies a mixed race—They are probably products of the area in which they were found—Dress of the period—Hood found in a moss in Orkney—Relations of the neck and arm rings of silver to ornaments in gold found in Orkney and the Western Isles—Their special forms and ornamentation are peculiar to the area of the Scandinavian colonies in Scotland Pages 66–111
 
 
ixLECTURE III.
 
THE CELTIC ART OF THE PAGAN PERIOD.
 
xBronze headpiece, with horns, found at Torrs, Kirkcudbrightshire—Bronze headpiece, with horns, found in the Thames—Typical relations of their ornament—Other objects found in Scotland possessing the same character—Swine’s head of bronze found at Liechestown, Banffshire—Character of its ornamentation—Other objects exhibiting the same style of art—Sword-sheath of bronze found on the Pentland Hills—Bridle-bit, with red and yellow enamels, found at Birrenswark, and harness-mountings found in Annandale—Difference of the art of these objects from that of the Celtic Christian times—Technical skill displayed in their manufacture—The testimony of Philostratus to the skill of the Barbarians of the Ocean in working enamels—Such enamelled horse-trappings found only in Britain—Bronze mirror and other objects found at Balmaclellan, Kirkcudbright—The character of their ornament—Such mirrors found associated with interments of Pagan times—Pagan Cemetery at Mount Batten, near Plymouth—Bronze mirror found in one of the graves—Character of its ornament—Similar mirrors found in graves at Trelan-Bahow, Cornwall, and at Birdlip, near Gloucester—Character of their ornament—Other bronze mirrors found in Britain—They differ in form and ornamentation from Roman mirrors—Their ornament discloses the existence of a native school of art differing from the Roman style—Bronze spoons found at Weston, near Bath, and Llanfair, Denbighshire—Bronze collar found at Stitchell, in Roxburghshire—Bronze armlet found at Plunton Castle, Kirkcudbrightshire—Hoard of gold objects found on the Shaw Hill, Peeblesshire—This group of objects, in bronze and gold, includes characteristic examples of the work of a special school of decorative art—Its distinctive character—Its Celticism—Another group of objects in bronze peculiar to Scotland—Massive enamelled bronze armlets found at Castle Newe, Aberdeenshire—The character of their ornament—Enamelled bronze armlets found at Pitkellony, near Muthil—Others of similar character found in Scotland—One found at Stanhope, Peeblesshire, associated with a bronze vessel of Roman type—The period of this distinctively native style of art reaches back beyond the time of the Roman occupation—Another group of personal ornaments in bronze, exhibiting the special features of this school of decorative art—Armlet, in the form of a double-headed snake, found in the Culbin Sands—Its form and decoration—Its character as a work of art—Armlets of similar form found at Pitalpin, near Dundee, and at Grange of Conan, near Arbroath—Bronze ball, with Celtic decorations, found at Walston, Lanarkshire—Stone balls, with ornaments of similar character, found in various parts of Scotland—Their probable purpose—Their area—This group of objects presents a series of examples of the art which characterised the Iron Age Paganism of Scotland—Its difference from the art of the Christian time—Its special qualities and characteristics Pages 112–173
 
 
LECTURE IV.
 
THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE BROCHS.
 
xiThe Broch of Mousa, Shetland—Its situation and appearance—Its peculiarities of construction—Its chambers, stairs, and galleries—Its features not related to those of any variety of castle of historic times—Many similar structures in different parts of Scotland—The Brochs of Glenelg—Broch at Loch Duich—Their typical plan—Evidence as to height—Typical characteristics of the Brochs—They point to a double intention in the minds of the builders—Their admirable adaptation for purposes of shelter and defence—Range or area of the typical form—Broch on Cockburn Law in Berwickshire—Broch at Torwood, Stirlingshire—Broch at Coldoch, Perthshire—Their numbers north of the Caledonian Valley—More than three hundred examples in the five northern counties—Significance of this result—They are the remains of a period of architectural activity which has no parallel in the history of the country—No example of the type is known except in Scotland—Instances of Brochs with peculiar features—Defensive works, wells, and drains—Construction of the doorway—The general adoption of such a peculiar system of strongholds points to the existence of peculiar circumstances in the history of the people—Uniformity of plan and construction a striking feature alike of the Round Towers of Ireland and the Brochs of Scotland—Dissimilarity of the two types of structure—Idea of which the Broch structure is the actual embodiment—The archæology of Scotland is largely composed of typical forms that occur nowhere else—Her monuments and metal-work demonstrate the existence of a National School of Decorative Art in Early Christian and Pagan times—The remains of these structures demonstrate the existence of a National School of Architecture as truly unique—Significance of these facts in relation to the unwritten history of Scotland Pages 174–208
 
 
LECTURE V.
 
THE BROCHS AND THEIR CONTENTS.
 
Excavation of the Broch of Kettleburn, Wick, by the late Alexander Henry Rhind of Sibster—Group of objects found in it—Their deposit in the National Museum gave a new character to the collection of Scottish antiquities and a new direction to Scottish archæology—Description of the relics—Implements in stone, bone, bronze, and iron—The food of the inhabitants of the Broch—No reason for attributing to them an exceptionally low condition of culture and civilisation—Excavation of the Brochs of Kintradwell and Carn-liath, in
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