Corpus Refs:Davies/etal/2000:C2
Discovery:recognised, 1837 de Freminville
History:Davies et al/2000, 145--147: `In his volume on the antiquities of Côtes-du-Nord the Chevallier de Fréminville noted the presence of a stone in the cemetery of Plouagat-Châtelaudren, expressing the hope that one day the key would be found to unlock `the hieroglyphs of the Druids'. Charles de Keranflec'h brought its carving to public attention, when he included Plouagat among the first of the early medieval inscriptions he presented to the Association bretonne in 1856 [Keranflec'h/1857, 105]. Keranflec'h published an account in English in Archaeologia Cambrensis [Keranflec'h/1857b: 371] and provided further comment the following year. Writing a few years later, Gaultier du Mottay noted that `since time immemorial' it had been the practice to bury unbaptized children in the vicinity of the stone.

Keranflec'h's sketch, published in 1857 and reproduced over forty years later in La Borderie's Histoire de Bretagne, shows the pillar embedded in the ground almost to the height of the final letter. This same position is recorded in the old photograph reproduced by Bernier in 1982. In the `Notes et Éclaircissements' at the end of his volume La Borderie included a second sketch of the pillar, supplied that same year by Keranflec'h. Not only is it described as being `more accurate' but it reveals the root of the pillar: Keranflec'h had had the stone partially excavated to see how deeply it was sunk into the earth.

La Borderie gave the total height of the monument as 175cm, but since today 198cm is visible this must reflect the stone's height above ground before the excavation, when it was still embedded to the height of the inscription; subsequently, the pillar has been re-erected less deeply in the ground, although the root is now hidden again. It appears to have been re-oriented too: Gaultier du Mottay specified the east face as the one which was inscribed, but today the inscription faces south west.

The pillar at Plouagat was listed in regional inventories of antiquities in 1884 and 1910 and the text of its inscription was discussed briefly by Loth. Bernier considered it [Bernier/1982] and the photograph he published was reproduced the following year in Pietri's survey article. Pagès also included the stone in his regional survey of crosses and calvaries, along with a rough sketch, and after visiting it Tedeschi published his comments on the script.

Members of the CISP team visited the site in May 1997, October 1998, and June 1999'.

Geology:Davies et al/2000, 148: `Coarse-grained granite, grey with flecks of pink, and rich in mica crystals'.
Dimensions:1.98 x 0.64 x 0.57 (Davies/etal/2000)
Setting:in ground
Davies et al/2000, 148: `The stone currently stands within the old churchyard of Plouagat to the south of the parish church, beside the path leading from the main street of the village (D712) to the church porch'.
Davies et al/2000, 148: `It is a tall, essentially four-sided pillar which tapers to a rounded top (the apex is flat). It is carefully worked and all the surfaces are smooth and even. The four main faces are flat, of varying widths (64cm (SW), 57cm (NW), 57cm (NE), 48cm (SE)), and joined by chamfered edges. The chamfers are themselves flat, and one is much wider than the others (10cm (S), 10cm (N), 19cm (E), 10cm (W)), meeting the main faces in a gentle curve. The pillar's girth at the base is 275cm, tapering to 112cm at 8cm from the top. As it stands today, 198cm of the stone's height is visible above ground'.
Condition:complete , good
Davies et al/2000, 148--150: `It is intact and there is little damage above ground. With the exception of the upper horizontal surface, the stone is not actively eroding, near total lichen coverage doubtless offering some protection against weathering'.

Davies et al/2000, 148--150: `The carving on the pillar is intact and well preserved. On the south-west face is an inscription, preceded by a cross, all incised in a thin, straight fashion. Near the top of the north-west face, higher than the carving on the neighbouring surface, there is an unusual carving which has attracted the attention of all commentators since Keranflec'h. It is in the form of a human face or mask with eyes, nose, mouth and tongue (or moustache and mouth) clearly visible. The face is almost heart-shaped: there is a dip in the centre top and the chin narrows to a rounded point; the face at Hanveaux en Tredion (Morbihan) may be compared with it. This incision is different from that of the pocked-and-smoothed lettering, being thicker and rounder, but the weathering suggests that it is not modern. This face is undatable; hence, its relationship to the lettering is unknown.

The cross, which is 8.5cm tall, is equal-armed with a short bar at the tip of each arm. The right-hand surface is very rough at this point and the right arm is indistinct, but not in any doubt.

The inscription consists of a single line of text placed centrally on the broadest of the four faces'.



PLAGT/1/1     Pictures


Davies, W. et al. (1999):+V{O}RMVINI
of Uormuin (PN).
Davies/etal/2000 150 reading only


Orientation:vertical down
Position:n/a ; broad ; n/a ; undecorated
Davies et al/2000, 150: `The text with cross begins approximately 40cm from the top of stone, extends for 87cm, and ends about 71cm from the current ground level. The text, which reads vertically downwards, is complete'.
Davies et al/2000, 149--150: `pocked-and-smoothed lettering'.
Date:575 - 699 (Davies/etal/2000)
Davies et al/2000, 153: `The style of the lettering would now indicate a date in the late sixth or earlier seventh century; linguistic forms indicate a date no earlier than the late 6th century; and use of the symbol V for the first consonant implies a pre-9th-century date. Very late in the 6th or in the 7th century would therefore appear to be the most likely date for the carving'.
Language:name only (rbook)
Ling. Notes:none
Palaeography:Davies et al/2000, 150--151: `The first letter is a serifed V in which the two strokes continue beyond the join, forming a further serif at the bottom. This letter is below the base-line created by the other letters. The second letter is a square O with serifed ascenders that extend above and below the square, also known from Saint-Michel-en-Grève [SMGRV/1] and Bais [BAIS/1]. The following minuscule R also has an elongated and serifed ascender, as well as an angular open bow and a horizontal foot with a serif. The next letter, an M, is smaller than the others. It has a flat top stroke that extends to left and right beyond the uprights, while the uprights and the top stroke are serifed. The second V is much the same as the first, although considerably clearer on the stone; both Is are vertical and serifed, although the second I is longer than the letters which precede it. Between the two Is the N has serifed ascenders and an almost flat cross stroke that joins the uprights medially.

All the letters are majuscule, angular, and serifed. The only letter to indicate that the script is anything other than decorative capitals is the R. This letter-form is distinctively Insular, not being found in France outside Brittany, but it does not appear in the fully developed Insular decorative capital script (Higgitt/1994). Tedeschi has suggested that the date of the inscription was 7th-century, on palaeographical grounds. The form of the R, combined with the uneven nature of the lettering (in stark contrast to F2 from Lanrivoaré [LRVOA/1], suggests that the most likely date for the inscription on palaeographical grounds lies just before the full development of Insular decorative capitals, that is in the late 6th to mid-7th century'.

Davies et al/2000, 150: `The text ... is complete. Some slight damage has obscured part of the initial cross and clouded the first V, but nevertheless the inscription is very clear and there can be no doubt of the reading'.
Carving errors:0