For the two hours Calum Mc Williams was inking my tattoo, he killed time telling me about the Pictish people who inhabited Northern Scotland. The Picts were infamous marauding tribe named by the Romans because they had pictures (tattoos) on there skin. They were a dominant force in what is now Scotland for at least 600 years starting around 300 AD.
They were a sophisticated society in the iron age but little is known about them. Most of their intricate sandstone carvings have eroded away. I had the opportunity to see the largest known remaining stone, Sueno’s Stone. It’s just a few blocks from the town center. To protect it from the elements, the 21′ stone has been encased in a glass shelter.
Detail view of the Pict stone carved symbols, you can make out the origins of the celtic knot.
Calum’s history lesson was a good distraction from the needle piercing my skin. I learned something and didn’t have to spend the day inside a stuffy museum.