|Discovery:||recognised, 1967 Alison, R.|
|History:||Okasha/1970, 68, `The stone...came to light in March 1967 on Ramsey Island, Pembrokeshire. It was found by Mr. Richard Alison in the garden of the farm-house lying among debris of various kinds. No other inscribed stones were found with it. However, in March 1963 the farm-house was rebuilt and the contractor, Mr. E. B. Hopper, then found five or six head stones containing markings outside the front door of the house. They were lying flat, but Mr. Hooper spoke to someone who could remember them standing upright. There were graves nearby with which Mr. Hooper assumed the stones were associated. Accidentally the stones were then used in the re-building, and are not now visible. It is possible, but by no means certain, that this present stone is one of the ones which escaped re-use at that time. Mr. C. D. Shaw arranged for the stone to be brought to London for examination, and subsequently for it to be presented to the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff'.|
|Geology:||Okasha/1970, 68: `A petrological examination of the stone revealed that it is a poorly cleaved green-grey silty slate composed predominantly of silt grade quartz and clay mica. Similar rocks occur within the Lower Palaeozoic outcrop of south- and west-central Wales, i.e. Pembrokeshire and Cardiganshire, and the stone is therefore likely to be from the neighbourhood of Ramsey Island'.|
|Dimensions:||0.25 x 0.28 x 0.04 (Okasha/1970)|
|Location:||National Museum of Wales|
The stone was presented to the National Musuem of Wales some time between 1967 and 1970.
Okasha/1970, 68: `The stone is broken on all sides...its thickness varies between 0.3 cm and 3.8 cm'.
From the measurements and the photo it appears we are dealing with part of a flat slab probably a grave cover or sundial base.
|Condition:||frgmntry , poor|
CISP: The stone is broken on all sides. The decoration on the top edge of the stone shows that a substantial amount is also missing in that direction.
|Crosses:||1: equal-armed; linear; straight; plain; square; none; none; none; n/a|
Okasha/1970, 68: `At the top of the front is incised a fragment of ornament, consisting of various radii, the longest being c. 14 cm. When projected backwards these radii appear to meet, suggesting that they originally formed part of a sundial. Beneath this ornament is incised a rough cross, c. 7 cm. high, and below is one line of text'.
|Okasha, E. (1970):||S[.]TVRNBIV|
Saturninus (PN) Biu[adus?] (PN).
Okasha/1970 69 reading only
|Position:||n/a ; both ; below cross ; undivided|
Taking the possible `sundial' as the top of the stone, the text is written at the bottom.
|Date:||700 - 899 (Okasha/1970)|
Okasha/1970, 69--70: `There can be no linguistic dating of the text when the language is uncertain. Moreover there is too little ornament remaining to make possible an artistic dating. An epigraphic dating depends on whether the text is considered in the context of Welsh or Anglo-Saxon inscriptions. A comparison of the the letter-forms of surviving Welsh inscriptions suggests that either a fifth- to seventh-century, or an eleventh- to thirteenth-century date is most probable. However, the present text bears a much closer resemblance to early Anglo-Saxon inscriptions. Judged by the epigraphic dating criteria adduced for these, the text appears to use early forms of B, N, S and possibly V, suggesting that an eighth- to ninth-century date is likely. The historical evidence is inconclusive since Ramsey Island shows signs of habitation from Roman times onwards, and inscribed stones from the fifth century on have been recorded in Pembrokeshire. In this connection it should be noted that in 1860 `Graves were opened in digging in front of the present dwelling house'. The date of the stone therefore remains uncertain, although an eighth- to ninth-century date seems most likely to the present writer'.
|Language:||name only (rcaps)|
|Ling. Notes:||See name notes.|
|Palaeography:||Okasha/1970, 68--69: `The remaining text consists of incised letters c. 3.2 cm high by c. 0.6 cm wide...The text is in a capital script employing insular, and angular, B and two forms of V. Serifing, either full, half or split, is consistently employed. The particular form of S is unparalleled on Welsh inscriptions. However it appears on the fragmentary stone cross-head from Carlisle, and the decorative capitals of some Anglo-Saxon manuscripts, notably the St. Chad Gospels. The script is not typical of Welsh inscriptions, the majority of which employ half uncials. However inscriptions, dating from the fifth to the seventh centuries and from the eleventh to the thirteenth centuries, do use capitals, though none of those illustrated by Nash-Williams has such regular and ornamental forms as appear on this stone. A Celtic parallel does occur in the ninth-century stone from Lethnot, Angus [CIIC 509]. However, the script of the present stone is much more similar to that of early Anglo-Saxon inscriptions and manuscripts'.|
Okasha/1970, 68: `About 5 cm. beneath the first two letters is what could be an upper serif, but this is the only indication that any further letters could have existed. ... It is uncertain whether or not letters are lost from the beginning and the end of the text; no traces of such letters now survive. There are various accidental marks on the stone. The first three letters are rather worn, but the remainder are clearly legible'.
Alternatively, the text might be incomplete and could contain two names, for example Saturn and one commencing Bi-; Nash-Williams recorded stones with the names Saturninus and Bivadus, Bivatigirnus. Finally, the text could be incomplete at both ends and contain the end and the beginning of two words or names, in Latin or Welsh. If it does contain a personal name or names, however, the text is likely to be commemorative'.