Tayside and Central Scotland

Pictish stone carving uncovered in Perthshire road excavation

Pictish stone Image copyright Perth and Kinross Council
Image caption Similar stones have been discovered in Aberdeenshire, the Highlands and Islands and Shetland

A large Pictish stone carving has been uncovered during excavation work on a £35m link road in Perthshire.

The carving, which features a walking figure holding a spear, was discovered by workers on the A9/A85 project. near Perth.

Contractors Balfour Beatty temporarily stopped works to allow archaeologists to inspect the stone carving.

Similar Pictish stones have been discovered in Aberdeenshire, the Highlands and Islands and Shetland.

Mark Hall of Perth Museum and Art Gallery said the stone showed a particular kind of Pictish carving not previously known in the area.

'Fascinating stone'

Perth and Kinross Council said the carving suggested a "powerful" local noble and may have acted as a warning for travellers and visitors approaching his territory.

Council leader Ian Campbell said: "I am led to believe Pictish symbol stones come in many shapes and sizes, and date broadly to the sixth to eighth centuries AD.

"I understand very little is known about the purpose of Pictish stones and the real meaning of the symbols they carry.

"I look forward to hearing what the experts conclude from their examination of this clearly fascinating stone."

The A9/A85 scheme is the first phase of the Perth Transport Futures Project and is due to be completed in March 2019.

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