THIS NEEDS A THES
Although the estuary of the Denburn would have provided a safe harbour when Pytheas of Massilia or Marseilles made his major voyage of discovery about 330 BC, we do not know whether he took advantage of it. Similarly we do not know whether the Phoenicians of Sidon, who had certainly visited South-west England before this date, ever reached the area. Devanha appears on Ptolemy’s map of Scotland (circa 146 AD) but the source of Plotemy’s information is not known and the details of the voyage of Pytheas were not recorded by Strabo till about 300 years after the event. The Picts appear to be the next people to have owned Aberdeen and its hinterland, judging from the Pictish symbols found (cf Diack’s “Inscriptions of Pictland”). The nearest are probably on the end wall of the roofless Dyce church, St. Mary’s of Parkhill, where two Pictish stones, probably 8th, 9th or 10th century, are preserved under the National Trust. The Romans described the inhabitants of Devenha and there are remains of a Roman Camp at Culter, a mile or two away. The Picts are described as a fierce warlike people, who painted their faces with woad, a purple dye.