Long-lost medieval stone with mysterious carvings discovered in Wales

Silian Stone | Medieval ArchivesIn a small Welsh village, Nikki Vousden and Roderick Bale were enjoying an evening stroll in the woods when a rock with strange carvings by the side of a stream caught their attention. Both archeologists, they knew it was no ordinary slab.

It took a late night in the library and a call with an expert to realize they had discovered a long-lost medieval stone with religious significance.

“We were going for a stroll in the evening and we sort of noticed the stone, half sticking out of the stream,” Vousden of the of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales told FoxNews.com. It had been raining and the water made the carvings stand out, causing Vousden and Bale of the University of Wales to further investigate.

The Silian 3 stone is thought to be an ecclesiastical monument, possibly used as a boundary or grave marker.

They quickly called Nancy Edwards, an expert in ancient and medieval history, and described to her the linear Latin cross within a lozenge-shaped ring that appeared on the rock. Edwards confirmed it as the Silian 3 stone, an artifact she had been searching for since labeling it with a question mark in her book A Corpus of Early Medieval Inscribed Stones and Stone Sculpture in Wales.

All three were excited to discover the stone, one of 28 missing early Christian monuments in the south-west Wales area. “There are 216 known inscribed stones and stone crosses,” Vousden explained. “Twenty-eight of them are missing, (now) excluding Silian 3.”



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