PICTISH runes are being laser-scanned as part of a pioneering project to establish the extent to which writing was a power tool in medieval Britain.

A team of Swedish scientists

has been performing a new technique on carved stones from Orkney and Shetland which was developed to analyse runestones in Sweden.

It is the first time the laser-scanning technology has been used in Scotland and it will help to produce 3D models of the monuments and contribute valuable new information for dating.

This technology has never been applied to Pictish or Ogham inscriptions and it is hoped it will contribute valuable new information for dating.

The project, led by National Museums Scotland and the University of the Highlands and Islands, will focus on important early medieval power centres Brough of Birsay, Orkney, and Cunningsburgh in Shetland.