Tag Archives: Runologi

Summer vacation 2009 part 2

I’ll continue with one church and two rune stones;

Lohärads kyrka

At Loharads (Lohärads) church is U567. The oldest parts of the church are from the 13th century, it has been added to several times until it got its present looks during the 19th century. Within the church paintings from the late medieval times have been found and restored, sadly the church was looked so I have no pictures of these.

 U 567

The inscription on U 567 is, translated to English; Anund and Sven (?) and Ærnjjorn and Hægvid(?). Neither the runes nor the ornaments aren’t all that skilfully made, the inscription only holding names indicates that there might have been another stone.

 Lohärad kyrkas klockstapel

The bell tower is a bit odd and placed ca 150 m SW of the church next to a crossing of roads.

The next rune stone is U 573 at Kragsta.

U 573

Today it is very difficult to read as it is worn and it needs a new paint job. The inscription is interesting as it is a variant of a Germanic name giving principle where a part of the fathers name is a part of the sons name, it reads (translated to English); Alvgaut and Vigdjarf had this stone raised in memory of their father Vigi.

Magnus Reuterdahl

Joy to the world (or at least to those who love runes)

Updated (2009-02-04) see red text and yet another update in green (2009-02-05)!

Good news from the National Heritage Board of (RAA) in Sweden; Runverket (The Rune agency) will get 2 trainees (link in Swedish). The posts are for five years and are open to those with a PhD in Scandinavian languages with a historic profile or a similar education. The aim is to develop new and deeper knowledge of runic writing, research rune stone makers, to do research on management and preservation, the climates impact etc.

Rune stone U 708
Rune stone U 708

These employments are possible by funds from Riksbankens jubileumsfond (the Bank of Sweden) and the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities.

I think this decision is one of the best news this year, so far, and I will salute it with a beer tonight (or I might just make a bridge to commemorate this decision).

I’d missed one thing; it is not two five-year openings but one for three years and one for two years.

My friend and colleague Johan from arkeologiforum.se informes me that it is 2 x 5 yrs after all; after the first two years there will an evaluation and if it falls out well then it will be another three years added. The more the merrier!


I’ve also been thinking about the term trainee;

In this case you’ll need a PhD to be qualified for the job. I personally connect the term trainee with something on a lesser level as a beginner or a novice. As I interpret the term trainee it is someone that is taught the trade from the inside, in this case I don’t feel that’s the case. Here RAA wants researchers to do research. Now learning and research is a lifelong process but when does the education stop and the work begin? To spend four years on post graduate program, getting a PhD and then get the title trainee feels a bit incapacitating in my view why not just call it a project employment or time limited employment as a runeologist.

Maybe I am in the wrong here; I’ll linger on it a bit longer and ponder over it for a while. Please leave a comment on your thoughts on this.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m still very pleased that Runverket gets more resources.

Magnus Reuterdahl

The rune stones at Skärkind old church; Ög 171 and Ög 172

In the beginning of this week I once again found myself in Östergötland County, this time on a road trip. One of the places I visited was Skärkind, a small place along the Kings road (Eriksgatan). The kings road was really more of a route that a newly elected or proclaimed king had to take to be accepted as king through the realms during the early middle ages. In the 12th century the first church (at least the first church built by stone) at Skärskind was built. This church was replaced by a new one in the early 19th century. The old church was then demolished except for the choir that was rebuilt and is used as chapel at the cemetery.


The reason for this visit was not the chapel, though there are some medieval effects preserved within but the two rune stones; Ög 171 and Ög 172 that have been erected outside the chapel.


Ög 171 is interesting as it belongs to the oldest group of rune stones, dated to the 5th or the 6th century.

The inscription is made with the old futhork and is transliterated into skiþaleubaz which has been interpreted as a man’s name: Skinþa-Leubaz or Skinn-Ljuv. Skinn means Skin might be connected to skin (fur) trade and an addition to his surname Ljuv. Skinn might also be connected to farm/village some kilometres northwest of the church named Skinnstad. The rune stone was found during the demolishment of the old church in the 19th century so we have no way of knowing where it’s original placement has been.


Ög 172 was also found as the church was demolished but this one is from the Viking Age or the early Middle Ages. On this stone the younger futhork or the Viking Age futhork has been used. The young futhork is dated from ca 800 AD and used forth. The inscription is transliterated into: kutr : uk : fastulfR : uk : burn : uk : rustin : þiR : ristu : stin : þina : i-tR : stibi : faþur : sin * kuþan which in turn becomes Gautr ok Fastulfr ok Bjôrn ok Hróðsteinn þeir reistu stein þenna e[p]tir Stybbi, fôður sinn góðan or in English; Gautr and Fastulfr and Bjôrn and Hróðsteinn, they raised this stone in memory of Stybbir, their good father.


On the west wall of the chapel that does not seem to be of medieval origin at a first glance is a small Romanesque sculpture of two heads.

We visited more churches, rune stones and a castle on the way so there is yet more to come…

Magnus Reuterdahl

%d bloggers like this: