Buckquoy spindle-whorl

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The Buckquoy spindle-whorl is a famous spindle-whorl dating from the Early Middle Ages, probably the 8th century, excavated in 1970 in Buckquoy, Birsay, Orkney, Scotland.[1] Made of sandy limestone, it is about 36 mm in diameter and 10 mm thick.[2] It has achieved fame because of its ogham inscription.

The inscription was once used as proof that the Pictish language was not Indo-European, being variously read as:

  • E(s/n)DDACTA(n/lv)IM(v/lb)
  • (e/)(s/n/)DDACTANIMV
  • (e/)TMIQAVSALL(e/q)[3]

However, in 1995 historian Katherine Forsyth reading

  • ENDDACTANIM(f/lb)

proposed that the inscription was a standard Old Irish ogham benedictory message, Benddact anim L. meaning "a blessing on the soul of L.".[4] The stone from which the whorl was made, and on which the inscription was written, is likely to have originated in Orkney.[5]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Ritchie (1970)
  2. ^ Forsyth (1995)
  3. ^ Jackson (1977) Jackson states that "[a]ll of the readings are wholly unintelligible and cannot be Celtic," and that "[w]e must be content to write off this inscription as unintelligible, like all the other 'Pictish' inscriptions."
  4. ^ Forsyth (1995), p. 49.
  5. ^ Collins (1977)

References[edit]

  • Collins, G.H. (1995), "Chalk spindle-whorls from Buckquoy, Orkney", Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 125: 222–223 
  • Jackson, Kenneth (1977), "The ogam inscription on the spindle whorl from Buckquoy, Orkney", Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 108: 221–222