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Picture stone

Picture stone with runic inscription in a ribbon shape along the wave-shaped upper part of the stone. The inscription runs: "Rodvisl and Farbjörn and Gunbjörn". The stone depicts at least two scenes but the connection between them is unclear. At the top there is an indoor scene with a man and woman sitting opposite one another on a seat of honour. Behind the man, but outside the walls of the room, there is an eternity symbol, known as a triquetra or valknut. Another figure is approaching the man and presenting or taking a spear. The woman appears to be watching what is happening, but behind her a longnecked, bird-like creature is sticking in its head and pecking the standing man in the back. The scene below depicts three male figures, marching in a line carrying a spear, a sickle and a club or torch. Behind them there is a circular shape and beneath it something that could be a flaming fire. One interpretation is that the scene depicts a "cadastral survey”, perhaps at full moon on the vernal equinox. Others have interpreted the three men as Odin, Thor, and Frey. But as the stone was the side slab of a coffin – the large undecorated part was buried in the earth – and since the inscription mentions three men, it is possible that it is these three men who are depicted. The question of the connection between the scenes remains to be solved. The stone was found in Stånga Churchyard, Stånga Parish, Gotland.

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Object number: 108188_HST

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