What are Pictish Carvings doing in Galloway?
Trusty’s Hill is unique amongst the many ancient hillforts of Galloway for its Pictish Carvings – a z-rod/double disc and a dragon pierced with a sword. The Pictish Symbols at this vitrified fort derive from the Dark Ages, when south-west Scotland was inhabited by people usually perceived to be Britons, not Picts.
The Galloway Picts Project was instigated by the Dumfriesshire and Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Society to answer the question as to why Pictish symbols were carved at the entranceway to Trusty’s Hillfort. However, far from seeking to verify the ‘Picts of Galloway’, which was never more than a medieval monastic metaphor for twelfth century Galloway’s ferocious warriors, the project sought to investigate the archaeological context of the Pictish carvings and the wider archaeological context of Trusty’s Hill. The results have enhanced understanding of Galloway within Dark Age Scotland, bringing new knowledge about the role Galloway played in the formation of medieval Scotland and redrawing the map of early medieval Britain.