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Jarlshof

Disc(S) (Stone)

Site Name Jarlshof

Classification Disc(S) (Stone)

Canmore ID 514

Site Number HU30NE 1.01

NGR HU 398 095

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/514

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

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Digital Images

Administrative Areas

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

EARLY MEDIEVAL CARVED STONES PROJECT (5 October 2016)

Jarlshof 1, Shetland, carved fragments

Measurements: a H 0.30m, W 0.54m, D 0.03m; b H 0.19m, W 0.19m, D 0.03m

Stone type: sandstone

Place of discovery: HU 3981 0955

Present location: National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh (HSA 782)

Evidence for discovery: found on the beach below the site.

Present condition: broken but carving is clear.

Description

These two fragments clearly belong to the same stone but they cannot be directly fitted together. Parts of three sides survive, which are chamfered towards the back of the slab. Incised on the larger fragment is part of the curving body of a serpent, with a median line and scales within the inner band. At one end are two parallel curving lines across the body beyond the point at which the scales finish. There is also part of a curving design to one side of the serpent body. The smaller fragment bears part of the head and upper neck of the serpent, with an eye and a pointed ear and a meander line filling the neck. They may have been part of an architectural panel.

Date: late sixth or early seventh century.

References: Hamilton 1956, 189; Scott & Ritchie 2009, no 129; Graham-Campbell & Henderson 2018.

Compiled by A Ritchie 2016.

EARLY MEDIEVAL CARVED STONES PROJECT

Jarlshof 2, Shetland, portable carved stone disc

Measurements: Diam 72mm, D 15mm

Stone type: sandstone

Place of discovery: HU 3980 0959

Present location: Shetland Museum, Lerwick (ARC 66138)

Evidence for discovery: found during excavations around 1900 in the vicinity of the broch and wheelhouses, precise context unknown.

Present condition: some minor damage to the edge and wear to the carving.

Description

One broad face of this disc has been carefully incised overall with spiral designs.

Date: late iron age/ early medieval.

References: Bruce 1907, 33; Scott & Ritchie 2009, no 16.

Compiled by A Ritchie 2016

EARLY MEDIEVAL CARVED STONES PROJECT

Jarlshof 3, Shetland, portable carved stone disc

Measurements: Diam 60mm, D 15mm

Stone type: fine-grained sandstone

Place of discovery: HU 3980 0959

Present location: National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh (HSA.4042)

Evidence for discovery: found during excavation in 1933 of the floor deposits in wheelhouse 2.

Present condition: considerable edge damage and wear, and the narrow face and reverse side show polishing caused by wear.

Description

On one face of this disc a Pictish symbol is incised: a plain double disc and Z-rod, with the rod crossing the double disc at a right angle. One of the rod terminals is missing.

Date: late iron age/early medieval.

References: Curle 1934, 229, fig 5; Thomas 1963, fig 3.8; Fraser 2008, no 213; Scott & Ritchie 2009, no 17.

Compiled by A Ritchie 2016

EARLY MEDIEVAL CARVED STONES PROJECT

Jarlshof 4, Shetland, portable carved stone disc

Measurements: Diam 57mm, D 17-22mm

Stone type: sandstone

Place of discovery: HU 3980 0959

Present location: National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh (HSA.4041)

Evidence for discovery: found during the 1950s excavation in the upper floor levels of wheelhouse 1.

Present condition: edge damage and very worn.

Description

This disc is carved by incision on both flat faces. One face has a circular ribbon containing zig-zag, and the central area has various short curving lines. The other side shows a double spiral apparently superimposed on early, more lightly incised work, including a serpent head.

Date: late iron age/early medieval.

References: Hamilton 1956, 84, pl 17; Thomas 1963, fig 3.2; Scott & Ritchie 2009, no 18.

Compiled by A Ritchie 2016

EARLY MEDIEVAL CARVED STONES PROJECT

Jarlshof 5, Shetland, portable carved stone disc

Measurements: Diam 72mm, D 22mm

Stone type: fine-grained sandstone

Place of discovery: HU 3980 0959

Present location: Shetland Museum, Lerwick (ARC 66139a)

Evidence for discovery: found during the early excavations around 1900, precise context unknown.

Present condition: very worn and some edge damage.

Description

One flat face of this disc is deeply incised with a depiction of a boat with a sail and rigging.

Date: late iron age/early medieval.

References: Johnstone 1980, 153; Scott & Ritchie 2009, no 19.

Compiled by A Ritchie 2016

EARLY MEDIEVAL CARVED STONES PROJECT

Jarlshof 6, Shetland, portable carved stone disc

Measurements: Diam 57mm, D 15mm

Stone type: fine-grained sandstone

Place of discovery: HU 3980 0959

Present location: Shetland Museum, Lerwick (ARC 66140)

Evidence for discovery: found during the early excavations around 1900, precise context unknown.

Present condition: some edge-damage.

Description

Both flat faces of this disc are incised with a cross, the arms of which extend out to the perimeter.

Date: late iron age/early medieval.

References: Scott & Ritchie 2009, no 23.

Compiled by A Ritchie 2016

EARLY MEDIEVAL CARVED STONES PROJECT

Jarlshof 8, Shetland, portable carved stone disc

Measurements: Diam 60mm, D 15mm

Stone type: fine-grained sandstone

Place of discovery: HU 3980 0959

Present location: Shetland Museum, Lerwick (ARC 66139b)

Evidence for discovery: found during the early excavations around 1900, exact provenance unknown.

Present condition: very worn.

Description

This disc is roughly chamfered, leaving the diameter of the upper surface slightly less than that of the underside. The upper surface is deeply incised with a cross within a circle.

Date: late iron age/early medieval.

References: Scott & Ritchie 2009, no 27.

Compiled by A Ritchie 2016

EARLY MEDIEVAL CARVED STONES PROJECT

Jarlshof 9, Shetland, portable cross-slab fragment

Measurements: H 70mm, W 75mm

Stone type: slate

Place of discovery: HU 3976 0964

Present location: National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh (HSA 4109).

Evidence for discovery: found during excavations in 1936 on the paved floor of a secondary entrance into hut 2 on the western edge of the settlement.

Present condition: all four edges are broken but the surviving carving is good.

Description

This fragment is incised on one face with an elaborate cross, of which the terminal of the right side-arm is missing. The arms are ornamented with two pairs of spirals and terminate in triangles ornamented with three spirals. The shaft appears to be slightly shorter than the arms and has a single pair of spirals and an open triangular pedestal foot.

Date: seventh century.

References: Hamilton 1956, 88; O’Meadhra 1993, 430-1; Scott & Ritchie 2014, 190-1, illus 10.

Compiled by A Ritchie 2016

EARLY MEDIEVAL CARVED STONES PROJECT

Jarlshof 7, Shetland, portable carved stone disc

Measurements: Diam 70mm, D 11mm

Stone type: sandstone

Place of discovery: HU 3980 0959

Present location: National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh (GA.422)

Evidence for discovery:

Present condition: some edge damage.

Description

On one flat face of this disc there is an incised cross, the arms of which extend out to the perimeter.

Date: late iron age/early medieval.

References: Scott & Ritchie 2009, no 25.

Compiled by A Ritchie 2017

References

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