List of runestones

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There are about 3,000 runestones in Scandinavia (out of a total of about 6,000 runic inscriptions).[1]

The runestones are unevenly distributed in Scandinavia: The majority is found in Sweden, estimated at between 1,700[2] and 2,500 (depending on definition). Denmark has 250 runestones, and Norway has 50.[2]

There are also runestones in other areas reached by the Viking expansion, especially in the British Isles (Manx runestones,[3] England runestones, Scotland and Ireland)[1] and other islands of the North Atlantic (Faroer, Greenland, but not in Iceland), and scattered examples elsewhere (the Berezan' Runestone in Eastern Europe,[4] and runic graffiti on the Piraeus Lion from Greece but today in Venice, Italy).[5]

The vast majority of runestones date to the Viking Age and the period immediately following the Christianisation of Scandinavia (9th to 12th centuries). A small number predates the 9th century; one of the last runestones was raised in memory of the archbishop Absalon (d. 1201).[6] A small number of runestones may date to the late medieval to early modern period, such as the Fámjin stone (Faroer Islands), dated to the Reformation period. Modern runestones (as imitations or forgeries of Viking Age runestones) began to be produced in the 19th century Viking Revival.

The Scandinavian Runic-text Data Base (Samnordisk runtextdatabas) is a project involving the creation and maintenance of a database of runestones in the Rundata database.[7]

Elder Futhark runestones[edit]

The vast majority of runestones date to the Viking Age. There is only a handful Elder Futhark (pre-Viking-Age) runestones (about eight, counting the transitional specimens created just around the beginning of the Viking Age).

Younger Futhark runestones[edit]

Scandinavia proper[edit]


Distribution of runestones in Sweden, the country with the highest density. Runestones / km²:
  Lacks runestones

The number of runestones in Sweden is estimated at between 1,700[2] and 2,500 (depending on definition).[2]

The Swedish district of Uppland has the highest concentration with as many as 1,196 inscriptions in stone, whereas Södermanland is second with 391).[8]

District of Hälsingland[edit]
District of Medelpad[edit]
District of Skåne[edit]
District of Uppland[edit]
District Östergötland[edit]
District Gästrikland[edit]


Denmark has a total of 250 known runestones.[2]


Norway has a total of 50 known runestones.[2]

North Atlantic[edit]

British Isles[edit]

Faroe Islands[edit]




Germany has a total of 4 known runestones.



Image stones[edit]

Modern runestones[edit]

A number of notable runestones of modern origin exist. Some of them are intended as hoaxes, their creators attempting to imitate a Viking Age artefact. Especially since the late 20th century, runestones in the style of the Viking Age were also made without pretense of authenticity, either as independent works of art or as replicas as museum exhibits or tourist attractions.[10]

This concerns especially runestones found in North America. There is also a limited set of early modern runestones created after the end of the Viking Age but before the "Viking Revival".


  1. ^ a b Zilmer, Kristel (diss. 2005), "He Drowned in Holmr's Sea": Baltic Traffic in Early Nordic Sources (PDF), Tartu University Press, ISBN 9949-11-089-0 Check date values in: |year= (help) p. 38.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Olstad, Lisa (2002-12-16). "Ein minnestein for å hedre seg sjølv". Retrieved 2008-04-20.
  3. ^ Page, Raymond I. (1995). Runes and Runic Inscriptions: Collected Essays on Anglo-Saxon and Viking Runes. Parsons, D. (ed.) Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 207-244
  4. ^ Pritsak, O. (1987). The Origin of Rus'. Cambridge, Mass.: Distributed by Harvard University Press for the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute. Sawyer, Birgit. (2000). The Viking-Age Rune-Stones: Custom and Commemoration in Early Medieval Scandinavia. Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 306.
  5. ^ "Runsten", Nationalencyklopedin (1995), volume 16, pp. 91-92.
  6. ^ Jansson 1997:166
  7. ^
  8. ^ Harrison, D. & Svensson, K. (2007). Vikingaliv. Fälth & Hässler, Värnamo, p. 138.
  9. ^ Page 1983:227
  10. ^ "In December 1997 I moved to Adelsö, the Island there the kings lived in the viking period, near the Island of Birka [...] My capabilities to live on my handicraft became bigger and I extend with guided tours in the ancient area, protected by UNESCO. On a piece of land, near this area, I build up my place of work and exhibition. [...] The year 2000 I got honored to carve a runestone as a memory of Leif Eriksson who did the exploration of North America, thousand year ago. The runestone was carved here at Adelsö. When the work was completed, the stone transferred to Canada and became raised at the northern point of Newfoundland / Vineland." (Kalle Dahlberg, "The three types of contemporary runestone carvings highlighted in the article are those that are "exact copies of existing stones", "explicitly contemporary", and "new, but with Old Norse"." ( 2012)