There are 6 types of carved objects on Pictish Symbol Stones:-
1) Pictish-Mithraic, 2) Celtic attributes, 3) Roman context, 4) Christian Cross, 5) People / Scene, 6) Undecoded / Ogham.
A result is 16 different combinations plus 2 “single belief” categories which can clearly be identified as – a) Celtic Only and b) Pictish-Mithraic Only.
Being “single belief” these symbols can, logically, have no prospect of being considered as part of a belief combination. However, as they are on Symbol Stones – the subject of the Shared Space Investigations – they are included here for completeness.
Strathmartine Castle Stone could well be a very early Class I Stone (3rd century). Its incised carvings are very clear examples of the V-Rod & Crescent and Pictish Beast. In Pictish-Mithraism, they could have served to explain the travel of the soul on birth into mortality and its return on death into immortality with the Pictish Beast marking the path to heaven via Capricorn. This is a “Single Belief – Pictish-Mithraic only” example.
“Single Belief – Celtic only” is the Evaluation for the Grantown schist slab. It has a very clear stag – in Celtic beliefs the deer has attributes including messenger & guide from the otherworlds. However, the rectangle with spirals on two opposing corners has not been decoded in a P-M or any other context.
The range of Stones in this Investigation extends from small fragments of individual Stones with incomplete objects like Findlarig, to groups located together with carvings that complement one another such as at Inveravon.
Click here for the Investigation 5 PDF complete with analysis and evaluation by Stone, Observations and Conclusions.