The carving on Eagle Rock is thought to date from the Roman occupation of this area. A fort was constructed by the Romans at nearby Cramond around AD 140 and continued in use into the 3rd century AD. The fort probably served an important harbour for the garrisons along the Antonine Wall.
The carvings are very worn but the outline, possibly of an eagle, can still be seen in the stone.
The oldest surviving record dates from 1794, and from this description it’s clear the figure carved with the eagle was already indistinct:
‘… a rude sculpture bearing some resemblance to the figure of an eagle, standing upright, with its back to the rock … All traces of that figure are now worn away.’
Other suggestions are that it shows a human figure, perhaps representing the Roman god Mercury, or a Celtic horned god.