Monthly Archives: June 2011

Two reports away

Then my first reports for Kalmar County museum are up on the museum webpage for downloading (pdf style). They’re both in Swedish. As the results were more or less 0 I don’t expect any big rush. But as it is said a no-result is also a result.

The first concerns an archaeological evaluation in Västervik Municipality; Arkeologi på Hornslandet II. Särskild arkeologisk utredning, etapp II 2011. Del av fastigheten Horn 1:619 m fl i Västrum socken,Västerviks kommun, Kalmar län, Småland. Kalmar läns museum, Arkeologisk rapport 2011:9. The second concerns an archaeological evaluation in Mörbylånga Municipality; Ett stolphål i Eriksöre. Särskild arkeologisk utredning 2011. Del av fastigheterna Eriksöre 5:1, 6:1 och 6:14, Torslunda socken, Mörbylånga kommun, Kalmar län, Öland. Arkeologisk rapport 2011:10

Magnus Reuterdahl


Happy midsummer

Tonight we Swede’s celebrate Midsummer’s eve with good food, good wine, lots of beer and aqua vitae/schnaps and some dancing around the midsummer pole.

If you by chance don’t like to dance check out Four stone hearth number 120 at Sorting out Science they’ve been nice enough to include two post from Testimony of the spade – many thanks – and there will be more posts on Öland the ancient monuments, not just rune stones.

Have a happy midsummer!

Magnus Reuterdahl

The Karlevi rune stone, Vickleby parish, Öland (Öl 1)

I promised to get back to you with some further information on the Karlevi rune stone.

It is placed on the island Öland in Vickleby parish and has the signum Öl 1. The inscription is dated to ca 1000 AD. Part of the inscription on the Karlevi rune stone is written in dróttkætt, an Iron Age metre. It is the only rune stone with a complete dróttkætt on it. The name in itself is interesting; drótt is a collective word that can be translated into; a chieftain or someone who had sworn retainers. In other words dróttkætt could be translated into a verse or metre suitable for a chieftain or court of sort. It includes two  kenningar, a kenning is a euphemism for something, often euphemistically.

The inscription1:

s-a… –(s)- i(a)s * satr * aiftir * si(b)(a) * kutha * sun * fultars * in hons ** lithi * sati * at * u * -ausa-th-… +: fulkin : likr : hins : fulkthu : flaistr (:)* uisi * that * maistar * taithir : tulka * thruthar : traukr : i : thaimsi * huki * munat : raith:uithur : ratha : ruk:starkr * i * tanmarku : –ntils : iarmun**kruntar : urkrontari : lonti

Inscription in latin letters:  IN NONIN-  +HE… …

The first strophe is quite ordinary: “This stone is set up in memory of…” The second strophe goes as follows:

Folginn liggr hinn’s fylgðu

(flestr vissi Þat) mestar

Dáðir dolga Þrúdar

Draugr í Þeimsi haugi

Mun-at reið-Viðurr ráda

Rógstarkr í Danmǫrku

Endils iǫrmungrundar

Ørgrandari landi

Translation into English:

This stone is set up in memory of Sibbi Gódhi/Godhi, son of Foldarr, and his retinue set on … Hidden lies the one whom followed (most know that) the greatest deeds, Thrud’s warrior of battles, in this mound. Never will a more honest, hard-fighting ‘wagon-Vidhurr’ upon Endill’s expanses rule the land in Denmark. [This stone is placed in memory of Sibbi the good, Fuldarr’s son, and his retinue placed on … … He lies concealed, he who was followed by the greatest deeds (most men knew that), a chieftain (battle-tree of [the Goddess] Thrúdhr) in this howe; Never again shall such a battle-hardened sea-warrior (Vidhurr-of-the-Carriage of [the Sea-king] Endill’s mighty dominion ( = God of the vessels of the the sea) ), rule unsurpassed over land in Denmark.]  In latin letters: In the name of Jesus(?) …

The stone was erected for the chieftain Sibbe, Foldar’s son, on the stone he is called dólga Þrúdar draugur; the last word draugur is a well known kenning for ‘warrior, doer, performer of battles’, dólg means ‘hostility, strife, battle’ and Þrúdar is the name of one of Thor’s daughters, a goddess in norse mythology. According to Sven B.F. Jansson2 the translation should be something like; executor, performer of the goddess in battle or warrior, warlord.

Another interesting passage in the runic text is the word another kenning, devided into two strophes: reið-Viðurr + Endils iǫrmungrund. Endill is the name of a Sea-king, iǫrmungrund ‘mighty ground’, reið means ‘a wagon (chariot)’ and Viðurr is another name for the god Odin. This could be interpreted as; The God of ships (wagons of the sea) is the Sea-King (or warrior), according to Klaus Düwel3 – in this case Sibbe might be seen as the Sea King or perhaps that he sails with the sea-King or is with Odin. The word iǫrmungrund is also interesting as it appears in Beowulf and Grimnismál as well which puts it in a larger geographical context than just Öland as do the mentioning of Denmark.

The latin inscription is also interesting:  IN NONIN-  +HE… … It has been interpreted as In the name of Jesus(?) … … So the inscription is also part of a Christian context both regarding the letters and religion.

Magnus Reuterdahl

More information:

  1. The runic database Samnordisk runtextdatabas
  2. Jansson, Sven B.F. 1997. Runes in Sweden.
  3. Düwel, Klaus 2001. Runenkunde, dritte Auflage.r, troligen naturligt.

In search for runes

Been writing a few reports lately, nothing fancy as the results were more or less =0, e.g. no finds worth mentioning. While doing so I’ve needed to stop by the archives a few times and as soon you’ll open one of those dusty bins you’ll find something fun –that has nothing to do with your current affairs. This time I stumbled on a reference of a runic carving in wood.

According to the note it should be found at Eriksörestugan aka Kalgrenstugan – a wooden house in Eriksöra at Öland. Four runes are mentioned: i t a f, where the last one is facing the wrong direction. The house is a Ryggåsstuga, a one storey wooden house without inner ceilings. This type of house was common amongst the peasants up until at least the end of the 18th century.

Didn’t find much or rather nothing regarding this on the web or in my books. What I did find out is that house was restored in the 1930’s, the note regarding the inscription wasn’t dated but might have been older than that, so it’s possible the inscription is no more. Except from this I’ve found two other inscriptions on Ryggåsstugor, both in Älvdalen, Dalarna County, D Rv314 and D Rv305 dated to 1828 and 1830-1855. Though I don’t know what those inscriptions says.

Well if you can’t find it on-line you’ll have to go on tour – Eriksöre here I come 🙂  – I’ll update when I get home!

I found the house and according to the note the inscription should be  on the short side wall next to the window.

…but I’m sorry to say I couldn’t find any runes 😦 Then again I couldn’t come home runeless so I took a little drive to Karlevi stenen – a nearby runestone. A quite aspecial one at that, the inscription is written in a verse called Drottkvätt and there are also a few latin letters on the side. I’ll get back to you regarding the text in a few days.

Magnus Reuterdahl

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