The Picts get their name from the Romans, who called them Picti - meaning "The Painted People" in Latin. This is possibly because the early Picts are thought to have tattooed their bodies with bright paints and dyes. This first written reference to them was in AD 297, although we know that the Picts and their ancestors lived in Angus and other parts of North and East Scotland long before this.
The Picts themselves left no written records, meaning that our knowledge of these fascinating people is very limited. One thing we do know is that they were powerful warriors - we have vivid descriptions of their strength and skill from the Vikings, Romans, Northumbrians and Irish Scots they met in battle. Archaeological evidence has also taught us a bit about the everyday lives of the Picts, the skills they had and how they supported themselves. For example, we know that the Picts were expert metal-workers, stonemasons, potters, weavers, storytellers, and musicians; and that they found food by farming, fishing and hunting.
The great legacy of the Picts is the stones they carved, many of which have survived to the present day. The complexity and quality of the carvings tell us that the Picts were highly skilled stonemasons, and that this craft was very important to them. Some stones depict animals, battle scenes and religious imagery, while others bear mysterious ancient symbols.
Visit Pictavia to learn more about these fascinating people, and see firsthand some examples of their amazing artwork and stone carvings.