Thursday, March 23, 2017

Scotland Story: Footprint of a King

We proceeded from Kilmartin to Dunadd Fort, a rocky crag that at one time was perhaps an island. Its natural defensiveness was evidence, as the area around it is named the Gaelic for "bog," indicating what it must have once been. It was the receding sea levels that put the fort under attack sometime around the 6th or 7th century. There are documents recording its name up through the 9th century.

It was, for us, a bit of a difficult climb in the mossy grass and the sprinkling rain, but it was a fun adventure nonetheless. 

When we got to the top of the hill, the view in every direction was spectacular. We found what historians point to as the most remarkable feature left at Fort Dunadd, the footprint. Though it is not striking in appearance (it simply looks like someone walked where concrete was being poured), there is significant written and oral evidence that it is some type of ancient monarchal ritual. Surrounding Clan Chiefs would bring soil from their homeland, sprinkle it into the footprint, then step on it to signify loyalty to the High King of Scots. Of course, we did it. Our little guy is loyal, after all.

It was a fun day, and we made it back to the car just before the clouds burst!

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