We can only guess what meaning the strange creatures held for the Dark Age monks, but perhaps other discoveries at Portmahomack will eventually help archaeologists understand their symbolism.
In the ninth century, the monastery was destroyed by the Vikings, who burned it and smashed the stone carvings. But the sense that Tarbat was sacred held on; other churches were built and re-built on the site of the monastic church until it was finally abandoned in the twentieth century. But at the Tarbat Discovery Centre, the world of Scotland’s earliest monks lives on.
Interested in learning more? Check out Scotland's Treasures for yourself!