Corpus Refs:none
Discovery:arch excav, 1870 Traill, W.
History:Forsyth/1996, 187: `The ogham slab was discovered in 1870 during excavation of the Broch of Burrian. ... In 1871, along with other finds from the site, the ogham-inscribed slab was donated to the National Museum of Antiquities where it is currently on display (NMS Cat. No. GB1).'
Geology:Forsyth/1996, 189: `Clay slate'.
Dimensions:0.7 x 0.39 x 0.05 (Forsyth/1996)
Setting:in display
Location:National Antiquities Museum (Cat: NMS Cat. GB1)
Forsyth/1996, 187: `In 1871, along with finds from the site, the ogham-inscribed slab was donated to the National Antiquities Museum where it is currently on display'.
Allen/Anderson/1903, 24: `a slab'.

Forsyth/1996, 189: `...natural flag, roughly shaped'.

Condition:complete , poor
Forsyth/1996, 189: `complete but its surface is severely laminated and much has been lost'.
Crosses:1: latin; outline; expanded; expanded; curved; none; none; none; plain

Allen/Anderson/1903, 24: `with [a] cross of the Celtic form incised in outline in the middle of the stone; below it appear indications of what might have been the tail and part of the body of a fish'.

Forsyth/1996, 190: `...the outline of an equal-armed cross (220mm broad), with circular joints and square terminals, on a narrow shaft which disappears into a patch of wear (total extent length c. 370 mm). Several writers have noted the very similar cross (though lacking the shaft) on the altar frontal from Flotta, one of the most southerly Orkney islands [Thomas 1971: 186-8]'.



BURIN/1/1     Pictures


Allen/Anderson/1903 24 reading only
Forsyth, K.S. (1996):I[T!^O!][E^B]IR[A]R{A}NN{U}[.]RR{A}CT{*}EVVC{*}{*}OCCS
I()irrann(PN) made this(?) cross
Forsyth/1996 192--205 substantial discussion


Orientation:vertical up
Position:inc ; broad ; beside cross ; undivided
Forsyth/1996, 191: `...runs vertically up the face of the slab a few centimetres in from the left margin. The extant length of the text is 345 mm'.
Forsyth/1996, 190: `Both cross and ogham are very lightly and delicately incised'.
Date:None published
Language:Brittonic (ogams)
Ling. Notes:Forsyth/1996, 202: `the text appears to be written in Brittonic'.
Palaeography:Forsyth/1996, 192: `Burrian is carved on a very fine scale'.

Forsyth notes the presence of a number of unusual characters and forfeda. These are:

Character 3: `After a gap there are two short strokes to the right of the stem, sloping forwards. Macalister interpreted these as L without any further comment. The lack of a bind-stroke renders this unlikely but in any case it is clear that the second stroke, at least, continues across the stem. There is a nick at the point where the right distal end of the first stroke would lie, but no evidence of anything between that and the stem. Padel interpreted these as two separate letters, BM, but was unhappy that they were so cramped. Neither mentions what appears to be a third stroke, sloping in the opposite direction, most obvious to the right of the stem, but continuing across to intersect with the second stroke just to the left of the stem...I think it is unlikely that there is more than a single letter here. That the first stroke is not bound to the second throws it into some doubt, since all the other letters are bound. The third stroke is doubtful, but if accepted could be intended for the first forfid ><. That the two opposing diagonals do not intersect exactly on the stem would be explained as just a careless slip caused by carving the letters first and then adding the stem to join them up...One might speculate that the reason this letter is so indistinct is because it was a botched job deliberately effaced by the carver but really this is clutching at straws'.

Character 7: `A single stroke perpendicular across the stem with a bind stroke on the right distal end - a hammer-head A'.

Character 10: `Next is a very worn patch out of which emerge the distal ends of three strokes to the right and three to the left. These slope in the direction of the reading and if produced would meet the stem to form three right-facing arrows...each slightly larger than the previous one. The lack of bind strokes is surprising, but nonetheless this group is probably best interpreted as an angled vowel - U'.

Character 16: `One long stroke perpendicularly across the stem intersected by a second lying at an angle of less than 45 degrees to the stem. The perpendicular stroke is deeper than the oblique one. This has been interpreted as the first forfid >< and assigned a value K by Padel. It is, however, quite unlike [character] 21 which is formed, not of straight intersecting lines, but of opposed angled lines which do not quite meet'.

Character 21: `Two long angled strokes, opposing, not meeting ><...This same character appears on the Formaston [FRMSN] and Lunnasting [LTING] stones but it is unclear whether it is to be considered a variant of the first forfid or a separate character in its own right'.

Character 22: `Cross-hatching - two superimposed sets of five parallel oblique strokes across the stem in opposite directions. This forfid is known from the manuscript tradition and is found in stone at Bressay. It has the value RR [Sims-Williams 1992: 72]. It is unclear if there is any difference in the sound represented by this character as opposed to the more usual pair of Rs, e.g., 5/6, 11/12'.

Carving errors:1