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Sumburgh Airport

Pictish Symbol Stone (Pictish)

Site Name Sumburgh Airport

Classification Pictish Symbol Stone (Pictish)

Canmore ID 272943

Site Number HU31SE 21.02

NGR HU 3898 1065

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Shetland Islands
  • Parish Dunrossness
  • Former Region Shetland Islands Area
  • Former District Shetland
  • Former County Shetland

Early Medieval Carved Stones Project

Old Scatness 4, Shetland, portable Pictish symbol pebble

Measurements: H 50mm, W 95mm, D 15mm

Stone type: siltstone pebble

Place of discovery: HU 3898 1065

Present location: Shetland Museum, Lerwick (OSB 2016.9101)

Evidence for discovery: found during excavations in 1998 in a context associated with structure 5.

Present condition: heavily worn and scratched.


This small pebble is heavily incised on both broad faces with an arch and V-rod symbol on one face and on the other a possible boat with a curved rudder.

Date: seventh century.

References: Fraser 2008, no 198.3; Scott & Ritchie 2009, no 11; Dockrill et al 2010, SF9101, 309-11, 315.

Compiled by A Ritchie 2016

Archaeology Notes

HU31SE 21.02 3898 1065

In the course of the 1998 excavation of the later 'Pictish' multi-cellular building a small pebble carved on one face with an abstract geometric design and on the other with a crude rendering of a Pictish 'crescent and V-rod' symbol was found in the material surrounding the wall top and provisionally interpreted as the remains of a turf bank.

Sponsors: Historic Scotland, BP Exploration Operating Company Ltd, EC Objective 1, Robert Kiln Trust, Scottish Hydro-Electric plc, SNH, Shetland Amenity Trust, Shetland Enterprise Company, Shetland Islands Council, University of Bradford.

S J Dockrill, V E Turner and J M Bond 1998


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