Whilst interpretation of carvings is key to understanding the religious beliefs represented by the Symbol Stones, certain features of the physical locations of the Stones themselves may also reflect their function in transitioning from one belief to another.
Relevant elements of beliefs and how they were pursued can be seen in these features of their physical locations:-
- Temples of Mithras (Mithraea) have generally been built in proximity to water, also water has a significant part within Christian religion;
- Many Class 2 (and Class 1) Stones are in raised or open areas (for Pictish-Mithraism linking the carvings on a Stone with a skyward view), Christian churches usually have a prominent geographic position);
- Stones at or near a church would strengthen the link between a Stone and Christian belief.
In addition a non-physical feature, an association with a Saint, could arguably reinforce the importance of a physical location.
These elements have been explored as:-
- Stones by, in or near water – identifying whether there is any significance in such locations in terms of beliefs and how they are practiced.
- Stones in a raised or open area – physical presence suggests relevance; the reasons why are explored and explained.
- Stones at or near a church – the significance, or not, for those Stones that are at a church, churchyard, manse or a church/chapel is nearby versus those that are not is explored.
- Association with a Saint and a dating prospect – an association with a Saint seems to add importance to a site but is it for a Stone or a church? A dating prospect for a location is also explored.
Each Class 2 Stone has been investigated to identify these “features” – only 1 has none!
This is the Table of Stones by Name versus “features” (a combination of Physical Location and Association with a Saint). Reference is made to these features in Synopsis & Evaluation by Stone.