The humorous and intricately designed Lewis Chessmen were discovered in 1831, one of the most significant archaeological discoveries ever made in Scotland. To preserve the hoard as intactly as possible in a public collection, the majority of the pieces were acquired by the British Museum where they are on permanent display. National Museums Scotland holds 11 pieces, again on permanent display. An exhibition of 30 pieces will tour Scotland from May 2010 to June 2011. This is the book produced to accompany the exhibition; it also stands alone. It looks at the mystery and intrigue surrounding the chessmen and their discovery, and shows how the characters reflected society at the time they were made.
Dr David H. Caldwell is Keeper of Scotland and Europe for National Museums Scotland, responsible for the eleven chessmen in Edinburgh. Mark A. Hall is History Officer at Perth Museum & Art Gallery, where he curates the archaeology collection. Dr Caroline M. Wilkinson is Senior Lecturer in Forensic anthropology at the Centre for anatomy & Human Identification, University of Dundee.