Stones with symbols (Bjeshka Fani, Mirdite)

Since ancient times, stone has been used as the basic and irreplaceable building material. Archeological expeditions in the Dukagjini area, deep in the Albanian Alps, have identified a large number of stones with various symbols. These stones are found mainly on the corners of exterior walls of  towers and churches. In all the Alps area, all door or churches have stones  which are ornamentally carved. Symbols are made by different techniques, but the most common are deep engraving and relief. The carved figures are geometric elements and figures, like parallel lines symbolizing the running water – the essential element of life; circle or circles, triangle, rhombus, square, multiple rectangles, etc. Celestial symbols, such as the sun, moon, and stars, are also common. Whereas from the living world, besides the trees of life and flowers, the main place is taken by the snake, which from the locals of northern Albania is called “the hour of flight” and symbolizes the householder. Other symbols found on stone carved in towers, and less commonly on graves, are the cross, hand, man, cave, etc.