Discovering the Northern Picts

Prof. Gordon Noble


Jointly presented with Peeblesshire Archaeological Society

Tuesday, 12th December 2023

Eastgate Theatre, Peebles, 7.30 p.m.

The Northern Picts project at Aberdeen is an award-winning project run by the University of Aberdeen uncovering the archaeology of Pictish society in Scotland. Winner of the 2021 Current Archaeology Research Project of the Year, the project has uncovered major new central places of the Picts, including an early royal centre at Rhynie and a 16 hectare settlement at Tap o’ Noth with over 800 house platforms.

This talk will outline some of the major discoveries of the project and outline what the new findings mean for Pictish society in the period c.300-900 AD. The talk will also include a look at what the project has been achieving in the south of Pictland and beyond, at sites such as the Eildon Hills in The Borders.

A visualisation of the major Pictish centre at Burghead on the Moray Coast

Professor Gordon Noble has undertaken award-winning landscape research and field projects, working on projects from the Mesolithic to Medieval periods. He has two major current projects. Northern Picts, funded by the University of Aberdeen Development Trust and Historic Environment Scotland, is focused on the post-Roman societies of northern Britain. The second, Comparative Kingship, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, is examining the early royal landscapes of Ireland and Scotland. Research for the Northern Picts and Comparative Kingship projects won Research Project of the Year 2021 in the Current Archaeology Awards, the leading UK archaeology awards programme.

Public engagement is a big part of his research, with Northern Picts having featured in numerous exhibitions and on BBC 2 ‘Digging for Britain’, National Geographic, Radio 4 ‘In Our Time’ and many other media venues.

Gordon was appointed as Lecturer to the Department of Archaeology at Aberdeen University in July 2008. In 2012 he became Senior Lecturer, Head of Department in 2015, Reader in 2017 and Professor in 2019. He is also an Honorary Curatorial Fellow to the University Museums.