• STV
  • MySTV

Ancient Pictish dragon stone unearthed during storm in Orkney

The tablet, which was buried for centuries, has been rescued from an eroding cliff face.

Dragon stone: Ancient Pictish discovery in Orkney.
Dragon stone: Ancient Pictish discovery in Orkney. UHI

An ancient Pictish stone has been rescued from an eroding cliff face in Orkney.

The tablet, which was buried for centuries before being unearthed during a storm, is only the third of its kind found in the islands.

The stone was discovered earlier this month by archaeologist Dr Hugo Anderson-Whymark and is believed to be around 1300 years old.

It has the image of a cross flanked by a dragon on one side and a beast with the remains of a staff in its mouth on the other.

https://sketchfab.com/models/6de93d22334a4b6da3098402e7e720b5/embed | default

A spokesman for the University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute said: "Erosion by the stormy sea surrounding Orkney is a tangible threat to coastal archaeological sites.

"However, sometimes these same waves can reveal unique and important finds that have been lost to view for hundreds - if not thousands - of years.

"Following one of these storms, Dr Anderson-Whymark was examining an area of the east mainland coast that had been particularly hit during a south westerly gale and discovered something amazing - a stone that had been unearthed by the sea, projecting precariously out of the soft cliff face.

"This carved stone was clearly significant and needed to be quickly recovered before the next forecast storms that were due to hit the following weekend."

The stone was retrieved with the help of Historic Environment Scotland (HES) and could be put on display in future.

HES senior archaeology manager Dr Kirsty Owen said: "The Orcadian coastline is an extremely dynamic environment and it was clear that we needed to act quickly.

"Because the stone has been properly excavated, we have a better chance of understanding how it relates to the development of the site."

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. At least 6 characters please. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
At least 6 characters please
ShowHide
This field is required. At least 6 characters please.
You have to be 16 or over to join
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
Type your full postcode and select your address This field is required. It doesn't look like you've entered a valid postcode. Can't find your address? Confirm the details you've given us are correct by clicking here

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, including our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Any issues contact us.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.