– Carved stones represent a unique legacy of the Picts. Many of them give evidence of advanced skills of artists; some of the stones with very complex decorative motifs depict Christian crosses and crescent or birds or animals, both real and mythical.
In Orkney, the Picts carved the salmon, bull and deer and birds include the eagle and goose. There are also several other designs such as the infamous Pictish Beast, other monsters-like figures and “V-rod”, “double disc and Z-rod”, “mirror and comb”, “triple disc”, of which meaning is unknown.
Many theories have tried to explain the Pictish symbols.Why were these enigmatic stones erected and what was their significance?
Were they markers or perhaps commemoration stones related to people and events?
Several hundred carved Pictish stones have been found especially in northern and eastern Scotland.
Now, another very unique Pictish with a dragon-like creature and a cross carving was discovered after a storm on Orkney, Scotland. Known as a Pictish cross slab, it is only the third stone of this type to be found on the islands.
The stone is estimated to be about 1,300-year-old and has an intricately carved cross flanked by the dragon, or beast, and on the reverse side another Pictish beast design stared out from the stone face, with beak open grasping what could be the remains of a staff.
The discovery was made by Orkney-based archaeologist Dr Hugo Anderson.
Some examples of the Pictish Stones:
No detailed records of Pictish history survive. For now, the mystery of the carved Pictish stones cannot be entirely explained. It is believed that the stones were set up to record Pictish lineages and alliances, but no one knows for sure how this intriguing Pictish system functioned.