Runes, graffiti, marks and inscriptions in the dome of Linköping

In the dome of Linköping as in many old churches one can find a lot of inscriptions. Some are carvings for graves or memorials others in the form of graffiti or stone cutter marks. Here are a few of the inscriptions and marks me and my fiancé found as we visited the church last Sunday.

For me runes are the most fun and we found a runic inscription. It is located to on the right side of the stone fundament that encloses the altar section.



 The runic inscription can be transliterated into kuts, kauts or possibly knuts. The second rune might be a bindrune, the rune stave is used for more than one run, in this case A+U or N+U. I don’t know the signum of this inscription as I haven’t found it in the database of runic inscription: samnordisk runtextdatabas.

Update number 1, 2008-04-14.

I’ve got word that no runic inscriptions from the Dome of Linköping are published in samnordisk runtextdatabas as yet, this does not means that they are unknown just not published in the sources currently used such as Sveriges Runiskrifter (The Runic inscriptions in Sweden) or in annuals like Fornvännen etc.

Update number 2, 2008-04-15.

I would like to thank Jan Owe at for getting some answers for me. Jan Owe works on, among other things, updating and I belive maintaing the runic database samnordisk runtextdatabas which is a great tool for those of us who are interested in runic inscriptions.

Jan Owe has just read the books Sveriges kyrkor (the churches of Sweden) number 200 and 201 that concerns the dome of Linköping. In these there are no references to the inscription “kuts/knuts/kauts“. But Jan Owe has come across a notation about the inscription at Runverket (the Department of Runes at the National Heritage Board, aka RAA). In this it is mentioned that the u + a/n-rune is not an intentional bindrune but most probably an u-rune. The a/n line isn’t as deep as the other lines and therefore probably not intentional.

Jan Owe also is also kind enough to point out that I missed a few runic inscription in the dome, that will be added to the database. I’ll have to search for these the next time I am in Linköping. 

These two inscriptions are probably stone cutter marks.

As I mentioned previously there is also a lot of old graffiti and here is a selection of graffiti from the 17th and 18th century.


I’ll end up with an inscription which at least seems to be of Hebrew or Arabic decent. If any one knows please send let me know.

inskrift Linköpings domkyrka


Magnus Reuterdahl


About Magnus Reuterdahl

I am an archaeologist/Osteologist from Sweden. My main intrest lays in north Euorpean archaeology in, preferbly the prehistory of the late iron age and the neolithic periods. I've also got a strong intrest for Chinese archaeology, especially the neolithc Yangshao culture. I also write about cultural heritage and cultural history. Mitt namn är Magnus Reuterdahl, jag är arkeolog och osteolog och arbetar företrädesvis i Sverige även om jag gjort ett par vändor till Kina. På den här bloggen skriver jag om mitt yrke, om fornlämningar, kulturarv och kulturhistoria m m. View all posts by Magnus Reuterdahl

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