A rare Pictish stone has been discovered on the banks of the River Don.
The symbol stone was unearthed due to the river’s low level as a result of the recent warm and dry weather.
The stone became partially exposed from the riverbank near Dyce.
Survey and removal of the stone was co-ordinated by teams from Historic Environment Scotland (HES), Aberdeenshire Council and Aberdeen University, which confirmed the stone to be a Class I Pictish symbol stone.
Kirsty Owen, deputy head of archaeology at HES, said: “We’re very excited by this find, made all the more remarkable by the brief window of opportunity we had to recover the stone before the water levels rose again.
“AOC Archaeology, our emergency call-out contractors, worked with a specialist lifting company to carefully and safely remove the stone from the river.
“This is a wonderful example of a local authority, university, national body and commercial archaeological company working together to save a significant piece of Scotland’s archaeological heritage.”
Class I Pictish stones date to between the 6th to 8th Centuries AD. The new discovery is one of a number in the north-east, which include an early Pictish stone now on display at the Church of St Fergus, Dyce, close to where the new find was unearthed.
Bruce Mann, local authority archaeologist for Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, said: “The exceptional summer has led to river levels being at their lowest for decades, so there was always a chance that something new would be found.
“However, I certainly didn’t expect a find as stunning as this.”
The stone has now been reported to the Crown Office’s Treasure Trove Unit, and temporarily moved to Edinburgh while discussions on where it will be permanently housed are ongoing.