15 October 2016

1,000-year old Viking rune uncovered by accident outside Swedish church

Artifacts continue to resurface, in this case it's a rune stone in Sweden.

If you have an interest, read the article from The Local below, the Swedish English language newspaper that features a little different slant on the discovery and includes a couple more photos of the rune stone. (Ed.)


UK Independent
Thursday 6 October 2016

The 1,000-year-old-rune found during construction works in Sweden Emelie Sunding
Archaeologists believe they have identified the ancient stonemason who carved it

A thousand-year-old rune stone, missing for 200 years, has been discovered by accident outside a church in Sweden.

The Viking stone, dating from the mid-11th century, was found when workmen installed a lightning conductor outside a local church in Hagby in the south of the country. 
The artefact - measuring 1.8 metres long and 1.3 metres wide - is believed to have been made by Fot, a renowned Viking runemaster, because its style is consistent with his work.

Runes were typically carved in wood, with only stonemasons able to work on large stone slabs. 
The stone was found as construction work took place on the site of a medieval church - where it is thought to have lain since the 1400s - which was later destroyed. It is believed the rune was used as part of the entrance to the old church. 

"The stone is known from before,” said Emelie Sunding, the archaeologist charged with supervising the construction work, speaking to The Local.
“It was depicted in the 17th century and when the medieval church was torn down in the 19th century we have written records that mention the stone as lost and that it had maybe been moved."

With the exception of one missing piece, the stone is in good condition. The carvings include an animal head, a bird-like figure at the top of the stone and rune symbols drawn inside a scroll.
Part of the deciphered symbols said: "Jarl and …stone for Gerfast, his father". Researchers have not yet established who these people were. 

The stone has yet to be lifted from the ground and it is hoped there might be further carvings on its reverse side.

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