Uncovering an ancient face from Pictland

facial reconstruction

In 1986, a long cist burial was uncovered at Bridge of Tilt near Blair Atholl in the Highlands. The cist contained the skeleton of a man who had died in his forties. Analyses of his bones suggested that he was used to hard work. The burial was dated to 340 –615 AD and is one of the earliest Pictish graves found so far.

GUARD Archaeology Ltd with support from Historic Environment Scotland are working with several local community groups including Blair Atholl Country Life Museum, Perth Museum and Art Gallery, the Clan Donnachaidh Society, the local Community Council and local primary school to undertake further investigations and analysis based on the burial. As part of this we have worked with a forensic artist Hayley Fisher to create a digital reconstruction of the man. This reconstruction as well as the skeleton is on display as part of ‘Picts and Pixels’ summer exhibition at Perth Museum and Art Gallery which opens on Saturday 20 May.

A sample from the skeleton is currently being assessed for DNA analysis and samples for isotope analysis will be taken to provide information on diet and where the man originated from.

In addition, GUARD Archaeology will be leading fieldwork in Blair Atholl over the weekend of 18 – 21 August 2017. GUARD Archaeologists will be on hand to offer guidance to volunteers on historical research, geophysical survey and trial trenching.

Anyone interested in taking part during the weekend of 18-21 August 2017 should contact Bob Will at GUARD Archaeology or simply turn up on the day.

Location of site

Location of site