Carved Stones

What’s a carved stone?  The question is not as simple as you might think, but in essence it’s any stone artefact which has been carved, whether with text or images.  My current project is a first attempt to systematically study early modern carved stones in Scotland.  There are thousands of these, but they are inadequately mapped and recorded, often exposed to the elements or neglected, and are the single largest at-risk category of early modern art in the country.


My plan is to develop methods for accurately recording them using Reflectance Transformation Imaging, to design a database capable of storing that information and being grown by multiple scholars, and to elaborate a methodology for interpreting these artefacts and setting them within their larger cultural and physical contexts.  Alongside that, I’ll be working extensively with the archives of earlier antiquaries to recover records of carved stones which are now vanished or unreadable.  Ultimately I hope the project will expand to include not only carved stones in Scotland, but carved stones relating to Scots outwith the country.

For more information on carved stones in general see the outstanding Future Thinking on Carved Stones in Scotland and for a summary of my pilot project see my case study there on the Crail kirkyard. You can follow the further progress of the project on my blog.

Copyright © 2016-18 Kelsey Jackson Williams