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Recent thinking is that the Pictish Beast might be related to the design of dragonesque brooches, which were S-shaped pieces of jewelry, made from the mid-1st to the 2nd century CE, that depict double-headed animals with swirled snouts and distinctive ears. These have been found in southern Scotland and northern England. The strongest evidence for this is the presence on the Mortlach 2 stone of a symbol very similar to such a brooch, next to and in the same alignment as a Pictish Beast.
The Pictish Beast accounts for about 40% of all Pictish animal depictions, and so was likely of great importance.
The Pictish Beast is thought to have been an important figure in Pictish mythology, and possibly even a political symbol.