Saturday, 23 November 2013

Pictish Stone Puzzle

Gamers and interested parties are being asked by Scotland’s national museum to utilise their technical skills to piece together over 3,000 fragments depicting the Cross on a Pictish slab.

The the first of its kind in the archaeological world, project sees participants using a 3D programme developed by a Scottish technology firm to try to solve the mystery of the Hilton of Cadboll Stone.  Experts believe people who play computer games are more adept at manipulating objects on screen.

The stone, which stood on a chapel site in Tain in Easter Ross was carved around 800AD, after the Picts converted to Christianity, in order to celebrate their new religion.  Over time the stone endured a number of accidents, until it was knocked over and broken, and the bottom portion was lost.   It is also believed to have been vandalised more than once during the time of the Reformation in the 16th century.

Excavations of the chapel site uncovered the upright base in the ground and more than 3,000 scattered fragments of the face of a cross. 

The hope is that gamers, and interested parties will be able to piece together the jigsaw to give experts a chance to interpret and decipher the stone’s elaborate symbols and carvings.

Maxwell said: “We need techy-savvy people who have the mindset and understanding of how to work with 3D objects which are a form of virtual reality in space. It’s that puzzle-solving mind we need.

She said there had been one previous attempt to piece all the fragments together but that it soon became obvious that such a task needed manpower and specialist skills – now possible due to new computer technology.

You can read more of the article at The Scotsman, and take part in solving the puzzle.

If you want to participate in finding the solution, you can do so at the Pictish Puzzle website.

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