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The Ardre chest

Four stones which were found under the floor in Ardre Church during renovation work in 1900. Probably headstones and side slabs from a casket-like, sandstone monument. The side slabs (5–6) are intact or almost intact, while both headstones (1–2) are severely fragmented. All of them are, or have been, richly decorated with carved relief motifs of scenes in which humans and human-like figures interact with more or less naturalistic animal images. Motifs appear to be taken from both pre-Christian and Christian mythology. All four stones have edges bordered with runic inscriptions. Pigment residues reveal that the stone casket was coloured red. The runic characters are difficult to interpret but on one side slab (5) it says: 'Liknat’s sons [raised] a good monument in memory of Ailikn, a good wife, mother [to Aiva and Ottar] and Gairvat and Liknvi. God [and mother of God have mercy] on her and those who raised this monument [the largest which] people may see. … in Garda, he was with Viv (?)…' Ardre Church, Ardre Parish, Gotland.

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Object number: 45675_HST

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