The Rheged Kingdom was one of the civilizations that existed in the Dark Kingdom of England, famous for the first English poems composed from the Middle Ages.
But despite its popularity, the kingdom’s position remains a great mystery throughout the centuries. This kingdom was ruled by the king Urien around the year 600.
Recently, scientists have excavated artifacts in the Dumfries and Galloway regions of Scotland. They discovered traces that were thought to be of the ancient Rheged Kingdom.
If this is true, then our previous understanding of the time to establish kingdoms in Scotland, England, Wales will become obsolete and must be updated.
Previously, many historians believed that Rheged was located near Carlisle and Cumbria, northwestern England. But this new finding lies in Dumfries and Galloway, relatively far from the historians’ hypothesis.
“The very characteristic stone drawings of Picts have guided us here, this area is quite far from the area where the Picts were often seen before,” said Ronan Toolis, a leading researcher of the archeology team at the GUARD Institute of Archeology, said.
In 2012, this group of researchers began to learn about Picts’ rock paintings, which were part of the Galloway Picts project.
Toolis added: “Excavated archaeological vestiges are revealed to us of a royal ceremony celebrated by native Englishmen at Galloway, in an ancient citadel around 600.
Considering all the traces across locations in Scotland and northern England, archaeological evidence suggests that Galloway may be the center of the ancient Rheged Kingdom that existed in the Dark Ages “.
The researchers said that the strongholds on the hills were built of stone and wood, while the lower slopes below were surrounded by defensive walls.
It can be seen that this area used to be a fortress with an inner dwelling – a residence for high-ranking people of the pre-Middle Ages.
On the way to the top of the hill there is an entrance gate with Picts’ rock pictures, where the royal ceremony is performed. After reaching the top of the hill, the scientists reached the king’s hall, where feasts took place.
The arrangement of fortresses is complicated, each fortress is built with the intention to show off the power of each royal family.
“Each royal family consists of a king, queen and people in the lineage, with retainers such as warriors, craftsmen and civil servants,” Toolis added:
“We find rich evidence of the wealth of these royal families, they own a lot of gold, silver and copper, as well as pottery, imported from European countries.”
Researchers believe these royal families are an important part of the west-west trade route with the rest of Europe.
“People who live here do not need to work in agriculture, but they are still very wealthy,” said Dr. Christopher Bowles, Scottish Archaeologist Council.
“Instead, the wealth of families is based on the control of agriculture, livestock and natural resource management in the region, as well as land expansion.”
From these evidence, scientists believe that the Picts used to live here and create stone carvings.
The only place outside this area where Picts appear is near Edinburgh – a place with authentic archaeological evidence for having a strong stronghold that existed in the 6th century.
“This newly discovered archaeological evidence gives us more understanding of power, politics, economy and culture at the time of being the foundation of the kingdoms in Scotland, England and Wales.
This is a new proof that contributes to a culture in Scotland that has long been officially not recognized, “Dr. Bowles said.