From 11-23th August 2014, the collaboration of Scottish Sculpture Workshop artist Eden Jolly and master blacksmith Darrell Markewitz, with Dr. Gordon Noble, archeologist at University of Aberdeen, sought to recreate a ceremonial axe – as seen on the Rhynie Man standing stone – through smelting and forging locally sourced materials. The Rhynie Man stone is dated to roughly 700 AD, and shows a man carrying what looks to be a ceremonial axe, the type of which was used to sacrifice cattle – part of an early Pictish King’s role as a religious as well as a secular leader. During the excavations carried out in 2013, a pendent depicting the axe was found, along with metal-working tongs. This find led to an initial bloomery smelt held in Rhynie last summer, and further dialogue between Scottish Scupture Workshop and the Rhynie investigations.
On the 14th of August 2014 the SIRA STREAMS Team visited the Scottish Scupture Workshop to capture video as Darrell Markewitz worked to reproduce this iron age axe. Darrell worked the forge to reproduce a replica of the Rhynie Man axe depicted on the stone. The axe itself remains a subject of much debate in the archaeological community. You can watch the video below.