Pictish Holidays beyond Rhynie: a quick trip to Orkney.

Items found in previous Rhynie digs
Items found in previous Rhynie digs, on show at Crafting Kingdom exhibition Aberdeen University 2015.

It always amazes me that people think we didn’t travel before the 10th Century.  Fair enough, we didn’t have aeroplanes and mountain bikes, but we were aware of other places and if we didn’t travel ourselves, we found out from those that travelled past us.  Objects that have travelled from the mediterranean, including some vessels that may have contained wine, have been found in Rhynie.  What the archaeologists haven’t managed to work out is how we got hold of them, what we traded for them or were they acquired in another way?

What do you think was the quickest way to get around in Pictish times?  How about on foot, horse, boat?  How long would it take you to get to Orkney, with no cars, helicopters or ferries?  Us Picts were brave and hardy souls, the journey to Orkney reminded me, just how brave we were, if only I could remember the natural remedy we used for sea sickness!?

Photo of a flat stone engraved with a half human half animal figure carrying an axe © Shetland Museum and Archives

Next time I visit Orkney, I’ll need to head even further north and visit Shetland to catch up with my Pictish cousin, Mail.  However, I think I need to wait until I’ve got my sea legs back.

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Pictish Holidays beyond Rhynie: a quick trip to Orkney.