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Stunning new video shows how Pictish settlement could have looked in Aberdeenshire

A new video, based on Aberdeen University research, has revealed the existence of a Pictish fort close to Dunnottar Castle.

Archaeologists investigating a substantially eroded sea stack in Aberdeenshire uncovered evidence of a third or fourth century Pictish fort.

A new video, funded by Historic Environment Scotland, illustrates how it may have looked if the sea stack, called Dunnicaer, was still connected to the mainland.

The archaeologists required help from experienced mountaineers to scale Dunnicaer, a rocky outcrop off the Aberdeenshire coast, which measures at most 20 x 12 metres, with sheer drops on all sides.

The team discovered partial remains of houses on the cliff edge, which shows that much of the settlement had fallen into the sea.

They found turf and timber structures, together floor layers and hearths and it was also clear the inhabitants had connections to the continent, as Roman pottery and glass found on site.

It appears the site was abandoned in the late fourth or early fifth century.

Professor Gordon Noble of Aberdeen University, said: “We always knew that Dunnicaer was a site of major significance but carrying out an archaeological survey was hampered by the inaccessibility of the site.

“Thanks to the help of mountaineering experts, however, we were able to carry out some extreme archaeology.

“This video helps to fully visualise how the fort may have looked in the fourth century which we think helps to further bring to life the lives of the Picts.”

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