Laser Scanning Orkney's Pictish and Norse history.

Dr Alex Sanmark of Institute for Northern Studies co-leads a new project involving pioneering laser scanning techniques on carved stones in Orkney.

see full size image
The team preparing to scan at Brough of Birsay

A new project on the interaction between the Pictish and the Norse populations of Orkney and Shetland has recently been started. The work is led by Dr Alexandra Sanmark of the Institute for Northern Studies, University of the Highlands and Islands, and Dr Adrián Maldonado of the National Museums Scotland.

Last week, Henrik Zedig and Dr Laila Kitzler Åhdeldt, two Swedish scientists visited Scotland to carry out a pioneering new laser scanning technique on carved stones from the two key sites of Brough of Birsay in Orkney and Cunningsburgh in Shetland. These were important early medieval power centres, and seem to have expressed this through monumental inscriptions in stone. They are the only two sites in Europe with evidence for the use of runes, ogham and Pictish symbols. The laser scanning technique was developed to analyse Viking Age runestones in Sweden and this is first time it has been used in Scotland.

Read more about the project on the BBC website or listen to the BBC Orkney interview.