What appears to be the carved top of a sarcophagus was unearthed when builders were excavating and reinforcing a wall alongside the old ruined church in Temple, Midlothian.
But the inscriptions, which include symbols similar to those found in Viking monuments, in medieval graves and in West Highland Celtic carvings, have baffled archaeologists.
Crispin Phillips, who is renovating a house alongside The Old Parish Church, said: “I was on a mission to repair the wall – which was falling into the graveyard. We got near the bottom of the foundations and found something buried there.
“We found one stone carved with a cross and then another with these carvings on it.”