Kingittorsuaq Runestone

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Kingittorsuaq Runestone
Runesten fra Kingittorsuaq.jpg
WritingMedieval runes
CreatedMiddle Ages, c. 1300
Rundata IDGR 1 M
Text – Native
Erlingur Sigvaðs sonur og baarne Þorðarson og enriði ás son, laugardagin fyrir gakndag hloðu varða thessa og ryðu...
Erlingur the son of Sigvaths and Baarne Thordars son and Enriði Ás son, Washingday (Saturday) before Rogation Day, raised this mound and rode...

The Kingittorsuaq Runestone (old spelling: Kingigtorssuaq), listed as GR 1 in the Rundata catalog, is a runestone that was found on Kingittorsuaq Island, an island in the Upernavik Archipelago in northwestern Greenland.


The Kingittorsuaq Runestone was found in 1824 in a group of three cairns that formed an equilateral triangle on top of the mountain on Kingittorsuaq Island in the south-central part of the Upernavik Archipelago. The stone is now located at the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen.

The stone has been dated to the Middle Ages. The Catholic Encyclopedia states the date as April 25, 1135. William Thalbitzer dates the stone to 1314 using pentadic numerals.[citation needed] Others have dated the stone between 1250 and 1333.[1] However, as the historian Finn Gad has pointed out, the date given on the stone can be interpreted in various ways. As such, it cannot, as previously thought, be taken as evidence for the three hunters named on the stone in this region.[2]

The last part of the runic inscription is not transcribed as it is composed of unknown characters; some believe that they are meaningless, while others believe that it contains a secret message.[1]


Latin transliteration of the text on the runestone:

el=likr * sikuaþs : so=n:r * ok * baan=ne : torta=r son : ok enriþi * os son : laukardak*in : fyrir * gakndag hloþu * ua=rda te * ok rydu : (followed by six unknown characters) [3]

Old Norse transcription:

Erlingr Sigvatssonr ok Bjarni Þórðarson og Eindriði Oddsson laugardaginn fyrir gangdag hlóðu varða þessa ok ryðu...[4]

English translation:

Erlingur the son of Sigvat and Bjarni Þorðar's son and Eindriði Oddr's son, the washingday (Saturday) before Rogation Day, raised this mound and rode...

Undeciphered Runes[edit]

The six runes following the translated text are undeciphered, though they do have very close single-character components. The first two and final runes appear to have two components, a Sowilō (ᛋ) with a Mannaz (ᛘ) and/or Algiz (ᛉ) on the top and bottom. The following three runes appear also to have the top and bottom Mannaz or Algiz, just with a Jēran (ᛄ) instead.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Enterline, James Robert (2002). Erikson, Eskimos & Columbus: Medieval European Knowledge of America. Center for American Places (illustrated ed.). JHU Press. pp. 127–129. ISBN 0-8018-6660-X. Retrieved 2009-02-07.
  2. ^ Hansen, Keld (2008). Nuussuarmiut – hunting families on the big headland. Copenhagen, Denmark: National Museum of Denmark. pp. 20–21.
  3. ^ Project Samnordisk Runtextdatabas Svensk - Rundata entry for GR 1.
  4. ^ Olsen, Magnus (1932). "Kingigtórsoak-stenen og sproget i de grønlandske runeinnskrifter". Norsk Tidsskrift for Sprogvidenskap: 189–257.
  5. ^ Byock, Jesse (2013). Viking Language 1 (1a ed.). Pacific Palisades, California: Jules William Press. pp. 76–77. ISBN 9781480216440.

External links[edit]