A seventh-century slate window ledge inscribed with an intriguing mix of Latin, Greek and Celtic words, names and symbols has been unearthed at Tintagel Castle in north Cornwall.
The discovery adds weight to the view that the rugged coastal site, which is most often associated with the legend of King Arthur, was home in the early middle ages to a sophisticated and multicultural port community.
Finds - Goblets - Bowls - Turkey - Slate
Put together with other finds including Iberian goblets and bowls from what is now Turkey, the slate ledge suggests Tintagel may well have been an important royal base with trade links stretching from Europe’s Atlantic coast to the eastern Mediterranean.
Tintagel is one of the most spectacular historic sites in Britain. Onsite research is focusing not on the stories of King Arthur but on a settlement from the early middle ages. At least 100 buildings were built on the cliffs and may have been inhabited from as early as the fourth century to as late as the eighth.
Window - Ledge - Display - Tintagel - Saturday
The 60cm-long window ledge, which goes on display at Tintagel on Saturday, has been dated to the seventh century.
It appears to be the work of a scribe practising rather than the finished product, and the style suggests he or she was familiar with both the informal style of writing used for documents and formal script found in illuminated gospels of the period.
Ledge - Roman - Name - Tito - Celtic
The ledge includes what is believed to be a Roman name, Tito, and a Celtic one, Budic. The Latin words fili (son or sons) and viri duo (two men) also appear.
Another intriguing element is a letter “A” with a “V” inside it and a line across the top. The “A” may refer to alpha, which is associated with God. One tail of the symbol morphs into a miniature “A”, which may link back to the word fili. A triangle carved...
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