The Strathearn Environs and Royal Forteviot project (SERF)

Steven Driscoll, Kenneth Brophy, Gordon Noble

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Forteviot in Central Scotland (Figure 1) preserves one of the most extensive prehistoric ceremonial landscapes in Britain and one of the most important early royal centres of Scotland. According to the Chronicles of the Kings of Alba, King Kenneth Mac Alpin is said to have died at the palace of Forteviot in AD 858. The ninth century AD in Scotland was a period of major political change with the unification of the eastern kingships of Pictland and the western kingships of the Scots into the new kingdom of Alba by AD 900. As one of the major early royal centres in this time period, Forteviot is a crucial location in assessing the complex processes that gave birth to one of the nations of Early Medieval Europe. The Strathearn Environs and Royal Forteviot project (SERF) aims to investigate the prehistoric complex at Forteviot and establish the nature of the royal establishment at Forteviot. Early royal sites in Ireland are well known for re-using the sites of prehistoric ceremonial centres, legitimising their power through reference to the past and the ancestors and there are hints of similar practices in Scotland (cf. Alcock & Alcock 1992; Driscoll 1998; Newman 2007). The SERF project aims to explore what it is about Forteviot and the wider Strathearn region that created this regional centre in such different social and political situations, and whether there were connections between the prehistoric complex and the much later establishment of the royal centre at Forteviot.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number323
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010


Dive into the research topics of 'The Strathearn Environs and Royal Forteviot project (SERF)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this