Archaeology & History
Hidden anomalies discovered on the Stone of Destiny
By T.K. Randall
April 25, 2023 · 1 comment
A replica of the Stone of Destiny. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Aaron Bradley
A historic stone that has been used in the coronation of monarches for centuries has yielded some surprising secrets.
This oblong block of red sandstone might not appear to be anything special, but for over 800 years the kings and queens of Scotland (and more recently those of Great Britain) have been coronated with the stone - also known as the Stone of Scone - playing an important role in the ceremony.
It will be used again when King Charles III is coronated on May 6th of this year.
The stone itself is usually kept under lock and key and away from the eyes of the public, which means that actually studying it in any detail has long been something of a challenge for historians.
Now, though, scientists with Historic Environment Scotland have used modern laser scanning technology to obtain an in-depth look at what the surface of the stone can tell us.
Intriguingly, they discovered what appeared to be Roman numerals (XXXV) (which some experts believe to be crude crosses rather than numbers) etched into the stonework.
As things stand, nobody knows who carved them or why.
The team also used X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis to identify an unusual copper alloy stain on the stone which might have been left by some sort of copper or brass object in the distant past.
Strangely, the scans also found evidence of gypsum plaster on the stone, suggesting that someone had made a plaster cast of it at some point, though no record of such an undertaking currently exists.
The history of the stone, it seems, holds many more secrets than anyone had imagined.
Source: Live Science
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