Viking-age runestone discovered in Sweden

Construction workers placing a lightning conductor at Hagby Church, west of Uppsala, Sweden, discovered a Viking Era runestone that was missing for almost 200 years.

Excavations at Hagby Church (by The Local)
Excavations at Hagby Church (by The Local)

The runestone was discovered few metres away from the present-day church building, under half a metre of earth. An archaeologist was present during construction works, as the area is known for a Medieval church standing there in the past. The runestone measures 180 by 135 metres and dates to the 11th century. Experts state that it was used as a threshold leading up to the church porch in the Middle Ages. The find is said to disappear from the records and surface when the said church was demolished in 1830.

Details of the runestone (by The Local)
Details of the runestone (by The Local)

Depictions of the stone are known from 17th and 19th centuries. A drawing from the 17th century quotes some of the runes as saying: “Jarl and …stone for Gerfast, his father“. The inscription and ornament were created in 11th century by a runemaster called Fot. He is known for creating and signing several famous runestones found in Sweden. This one, although not signed, can be attributed to Fot through the style and the ornaments, as the archaeologists state. The runestone is said to be cleaned and then possibly re-erected at Hagby Church.

Unearthed detail of the runestone (by Archaeology.org)
Unearthed detail of the runestone (by Archaeology.org)

(after The Local & Archaeology.org)

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