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9 September 2010

At http://news.scotsman.com/news/39Birth-certificate-of-Scotland39-unearthed.6521243 … archaeologists excavating at the Moot Hill in the grounds of Scone Palace have been able to use C14 dating methodology from a piece of burnt wood retrieved from a massive ditch that once surrounded the hill. They have come up with a date of 906AD. This places Moot Hill and the Stone of Destiny in the reign of Constantine II – or at least significant changes at the site took place then. These, it is suggested, may be associated with the end of the Picts, as an identity, and a gathering ‘in the manner of the Gaels’. In addition, we may note Anglo Saxon kings of the period used a King’s Stone (at Kingston on Thames) and Moot Hills for gatherings, meetings, and proclamations of an official sort. For example, the suburb of Kingsbury in London is associated with a mound or Moot Hill. The difference is that such places in England went out of fashion with the arrival of the Normans – but in Scotland Scone remained an important place. The actual history of Moot Hills and Stones (of destiny) used to crown kings and leaders has a parallel in Ireland too – but where did the idea originate? Did Saxons in England adopt it from the indigenous inhabitants or was it a European wide phenomenon with deeper roots in the past?

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