Pictish carved beasts ‘unlike anything establish before’


The 1,200-year-old standing stone discovered in the Highlands has never before seen carvings of Pictish stones, archaeologists said. 

The stone was found lying in the ground and covered with vegetation in the early Christian church site near Dingwall. 

Archaeologists have now discovered the side of the stone that is down to earth and hidden from view was decorated with “two huge beasts.”

Beasts were carved down the side of the cross. 

John Borland, Historic Environment Scotland and chairman of Pictish Arts Society, said: “two huge beasts that wing and overcome cross quite unlike anything found on any other Pictish stone.

“These two individual creatures serve to remind us that Pictish sculptors had a remarkable capacity for creativity and individuality.

“Careful assessment of this exceptional monument will be able to tell us much about producing Pictish sculpture that we could never have guessed in . “

Pictish stone

The stone, which is used as a grave marker in the 1790s, was discovered in August by Anna MacInnes in the North of Scotland Archaeological Society (NOSAS). 

NOSAS and Pictish Arts Society have launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £ 20,000 towards the cost of keeping the stone.

 It is one of about 50 Pictish cross-slabs of its kind known to subsist.

The Picts created cross plates, intricately decorated standing stones.

 They also built an impressive hill forts to defend against rival tribes and invaders.

 The Picts fought against the Romans, Angles and Vikings.


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