In recent years Rhynie has been host to a group of archaeologists from Aberdeen University who have been excavating at sites on the periphery of modern Rhynie where a large Pictish symbol stone stands in situ called the ‘Craw Stane’. The finds have been extraordinary, revealing a story that Rhynie was once a centre of Pictish power. This was a place where jewellery was manufactured on an unprecedented scale. Somewhere people would come together and drink wine from fine glass that was made in what is now France, with storage amphora from the eastern Mediterranean, wearing amber from the Baltic region. Their landscape was adorned with a plethora of symbol stones that were standing before Christianity had any influence. Carved with strange beasts and geometric symbols, domestic animals and Rhynie’s most famous stone, ‘Rhynie Man’, with a single man with pointed teeth and carrying an axe. We can only guess at their meaning as the only history we have of the Picts is by hearsay from other peoples with their own agendas.
All of the artefacts found are preserved and stored at museums or universities and unfortunately will probably never return to Rhynie. This online archive gives a public presence to the amazing archaeological finds and their interpretations. Alongside these ancient artefacts we are exhibiting our more modern finds with their stories. The flotsam and jetsam, reminiscent of the archaeological finds, that have touched peoples lives in some way. By documenting Rhynie’s more recent past as well as its present heritage we hope to reveal the many changes that this landscape has undergone and give a fuller picture of Rhynie’s culture, past, present and future.
To find out how you can contribute to the archive please go to Take Part