Symbol Stones near Establishments from Muiryfold to Kintore
Home & Contents
The Pictish Symbol / Mithras Connection
People, Places & Times
The "Open-Air" Mithraeum
Carvings on the Stones
Mithraic Symbols Identified & Decoded
Changes in Beliefs
Case Studies
The Start Point of Pictish-Mithraism
The Overall Pictish-Mithraism Discovery
Appendix A - Drawn Designs
Appendices - B to F & Annexes
Biblio Author Copyright

Symbol Stones near Establishments from Muiryfold to Kintore

Locations of Class 1 Symbol Stones have been added to the previous Muiryfold to Kintore map. The table below shows four groupings of Stones in the vicinity of specific establishments.


Class 1 Stones with legible / discernible Symbols are at the following locations in the above area:–

Vicinity of:

Class 1 Stones at:-

Muiryfold, Auchinhove and Burnfield

Huntly & Tillytarmont

Ythan Wells (aka Glenmailen)

Fyvie & Leys of Dummies


Ardlair (Kennethmont), Bourtie, Brandsbutt, Clatt, Daviot, Drimmies, Logie Elphinstone, Nether Corskie, Newbigging, Newton House, Newton of Lewesk, Picardy, Rhynie & Wantonwells


Broomend of Critchie, Cairnton, Dyce, Inverurie, Keith Hall, Kinellar & Kintore (churchyard, Castle Hill & No 4)

In summary the number of Pictish-Mithraism Symbols (as identified in “Mithraic Symbols”) in the vicinity of:  Ythan Wells (aka Glenmailen) = 5; Muiryfold, Auchinhove and Burnfield = 13; Kintore = 23; Durno = 46. Details are in Appendix D.


In this geography there is a higher concentration of Class 1 Stones near to Roman establishments than anywhere else. The large establishments at Muiryfold and Kintore (aka Deer’s Den) are from the Severan period. Several others are Agricolan, some having been re-used in Severan times.



The numbers of Symbol Objects (as defined in “Carvings on the Stones”) in this area has been analysed versus the total population number of each Object. A benchmark has been derived as the sum of the Objects in this geography over the total number of the Objects and is shown as a percentage. By creating a comparative benchmark it has been possible to identify which Symbols have significantly higher or lower instances. Appendix D has all the data and highlights. For example, there are 5 instances of the Horse-shoe (representing the arched shape of a Mithraeum) compared with a total population of 18 – this means that this Object has a higher than average presence.


As we saw in the Battledykes to Strageath geography, the V-Rod and Crescent again has a lower than benchmark incidence but the Z-Rod and Double Disc is significantly over the benchmark. The implication could be that additional symbolism was offered by the latter by, for example, conveying the principle of the travel of the soul using the Z rather than the V. Another higher than benchmark Symbol is the Serpent and Z-Rod – an interesting combination of components reflecting the Constellation Hydra (which in original Mithras belief timescales extended to include Sextans, Crater and Corvus – around 180° of the Celestial Sphere) connecting Cautes and Cautopates representing the equinoxes. Additionally, the entire Z shape can be construed to be snake-shaped. The set of Constellations that comprise Hydra form a connection between Cancer and Capricorn – the gateways of the soul. Even in these few Symbols there is a strong set of carvings that could be used to explain the Mysteries of Mithras.


The Horse-shoe represents the arched shape of a Mithraeum and /or the Celestial view within such a temple. In Pictish-Mithraism what was shown in an indoor temple can be seen outdoors. However, those practicing Pictish-Mithraism either for their own benefit or as instructional to others here is the Symbol of the Roman Mithraism temple on a Stone. The incidence of these Symbols in this geography is slightly higher than expected, conversely, the absence of any Notched Rectangle examples (representing the layout of a Mithraeum) is unexpected.

With evidence of Severan occupation of Roman Establishments in this geography and Mithraea on Hadrian’s Wall at the time (plus Mithraea elsewhere in Britannia and on the European mainland) there is a significant correlation between Roman presence and Symbol Stones. The Severans had a family interest in the pursuit of beliefs, including Roman Mithraism. Septimius Severus’s father in law, Julius Bassianus, was high priest for the Temple of the Sun at Emesa (nowadays Homs). His son Caracalla was responsible for the construction of the Baths of Caracalla in Rome which has a Mithraeum underneath. There may well have been other attachments to Mithraism with the military connections of the family. However, on the available evidence no assumption can be made that a Severan Emperor directly influenced the setting up of a form of Mithraism to be practiced in Pictland.



Mithraeum at the Baths of Caracalla. Picture courtesy of American Institute for Roman Culture.

Builders & Worshippers
Time Lines
Locations of Roman Establishments in Pictland
Symbol Stones near Establishments from Battledykes to Strageath
What the "stayers" created
Home & ContentsThe Pictish Symbol / Mithras ConnectionPeople, Places & TimesThe "Open-Air" MithraeumCarvings on the StonesMithraic Symbols Identified & DecodedChanges in BeliefsCase StudiesThe Start Point of Pictish-MithraismThe Overall Pictish-Mithraism DiscoveryAppendix A - Drawn DesignsAppendices - B to F & AnnexesBiblio Author Copyright