Corpus Refs:Forsyth/1996:24
Discovery:recognised, 1876 Roger, J.C.
History:Forsyth/1996, 402: `Rev J.C. Roger came upon this stone in a cottage in the parish of Lunnasting on the north-east mainland of Shetland, `about a month' after being present at the discovery of the St. Ninian's Isle ogham slab in July 1876. Brash quotes Mr Roger's letter to him of 13 November 1876 in which he described how the stone had been unearthed `last April', five feet below the surface of the peat bog in the parish of Lunnasting [Brash/1879, 365]. In 1876 Roger presented the stone to the NMS (cat. no. IB 113).'
Geology:Forsyth/1996, 402: `Sandstone'.
Dimensions:1.12 x 0.33 x 0.04 (Forsyth/1996)
Location:National Museum Scotland (Cat: no.1B 113)
Now in the National Museum of Scotland.
Forsyth/1996, 402: `A smooth undecorated flag-stone incised up its broad face with an inscription in bound ogham letters'.
Condition:complete , good
Forsyth/1996, 402: `The stone appears intact and only a very small portion of the lettering is lost'.
Crosses:1: inc; linear; straight; plain; plain; none; none; none; plain

Forsyth/1996, 402: `a cruciform mark in the left-hand corner of the inscribed face. It consists of a vertical line 80mm long bisected slightly below its mid-point by a horizontal stroke of 65mm. At the top are two 20 mm lines, like antennae, meeting the stem at an angle of 45 degrees. The alleged resemblance to a runic letter is slight and probably conicidental, and the figure is more readily interpreted as a form of the Christian cross. It is impossible to gauge whether the cross and the ogham are contemporary, or whether the former was later added to the standing monument'.



LTING/1/1     Pictures


Allen/Anderson/1903 17 reading only
Forsyth, K.S. (1996):{*}TT{*}CUH{*}TTS:AH{*}HHTT{*}NNN:HCCVVEVV:NEHHTON[S!]
Forsyth/1996 405--419 substantial discussion


Orientation:vertical up
Position:inc ; broad ; beside cross ; undivided
Allen/Anderson/1903, 18: `cut on the broad face of the stone'.

Forsyth/1996, 403: `The inscription, placed centrally on the broad face, starts about a third of the way up the stone. The incised stem continues for 680 mm before terminating in a patch of wear just 20 mm before the edge of the stone. One, or at most two strokes, may have been lost in this final spall, but no more: the upper edge of the slab is intact. The letters which incude a number of forfeda are not, as Padel described them, `scratched' (120) but carefully and clearly carved'.

Allen/Anderson/1903, 18: `cut'.
Date:700 - 900 (Forsyth/1996)
Forsyth/1996, 412: `The close similarities between these northern oghams may be as much a function of geographical location, as suggested by the links with the late eighth or ninth century Formaston ogham. A date in the ninth century would be acceptable for the script of Lunnasting, but an eighth century date is also possible, the hammer-head A is found at Buckquoy, which is probably eighth century, and bind-strokes occur at Inchyra for which a date in the ninth century would be uncomfortably late. The word-dividing dots may be suggestive of Norse influence but cannot be taken as diagnostic of a ninth century date'.
Language:Indeterminate (ogams)
Ling. Notes:See Forsyth/1996, 413--417.
Palaeography:Allen/Anderson/1903, 18: `oghams on a stem line, with double points between each word'.

Forsyth/1996, 408: `The Lunnasting inscription is written in a controlled and measured form of Type II ogham, ogham written on a stem-line with a number of forfeda, including a unique forfid, and the other `late' features: the binding of all letters, and the division of words...The ordinary vowel strokes are long, occupying perhaps three-quarters of the ogham band, and there are no less than five vocalic forfeda. All the letters slope as one might expect. Component strokes are neatly parallel and well-spaced. Most bind-strokes are parallel to the stem, but some letters exhibit a `diminuendo' effect with each stroke shorter than the previous and the bind-stroke sloping down towards the stem, others are parallel except for a final shorter stroke. The bind-strokes mean the inscription is very clear, but in addition the letters are all very generously spaced'.

Forsyth/1996, 405--408, notes the following anomalous characters, designated numerically:

no.4: `A single stroke, curved to form a semi-circle to the right of the stem. The top layer of the area of stone bounded by this stroke has been lost through lamination. There is a faint inner line which is unlike any of the others. It could be the trace of a proper line lost in the spall or an initial guide-stroke lightly incised. There are no manuscript or epigraphic parallels for this character'.

no. 8: `Two long strokes across the stem curving towards one another but not touching )(. This character recurs at 15, though there the first stroke is straight and angled rather than curved and smooth. This suggests it may be an elegant, more manuscript than epigraphic-derived, version of the epigraphic [symbol] seen on several Scottish oghams'.

no.13: `A single long stroke perpendicular across the stem, with a horizontal stroke across its right distal tip...i.e., a hammer-headed A (A or AI). The left distal tip curves slightly forward, a feature not found on any other examples of this character'.

no.19: `A single long stroke across the stem with short flat strokes meeting the distal tips in a smooth curve, like an open S. This character is similar to ones appearing on the Lochgoilhead and Altyre stones, but in contrast to them is curved rather than angular. It is closer to the version appearing on Latheron [LARON] which is interpreted as some form of A'.

no. 29: `Four long strokes across the stem, sharply angled at mid-point....bound E'.

All these characters are individually discussed, and parallels offered, in Forsyth/1996, 408--412.

Forsyth/1996, 402: `clear'.
Carving errors:0