Airport Runestone


I’ve written before about the archaeological landscape surrounding Arlanda International Airport north of Stockholm. Following on yesterday’s post about the fake archaeology in Oslo airport, here’s a piece of landscape that has been moved inside Arlanda’s terminal 2. It’s an 11th century runestone commemorating one of the men who died on Ingvar the Far-travelled’s disastrous expedition to the east. The stone was found in 2000 when the road to the airport was widened, suggesting an impressive age for the road. Placing the runestone in the airport terminal ensures its protection from the rain and freeze-thaw cycle, and also makes it maximally accessible to the public. I think this is the sort of heritage the Norwegians should be displaying at their airport too.

“Gunnar and Björn and Torgrim erected this stone after Torsten, their brother. He died in the East with Ingvar. And made this bridge.”


  1. #1 Mumin
    November 21, 2011

    “Made this bridge” is an impressive claim for a runestone on display at an airport. Three cheers for Torsten the Farsighted!

  2. #2 Mark LaRoux
    November 21, 2011

    NOBODY has tried to take a sample or etch their name in it?…Unbelievable!
    This alone impresses me more than the location.

  3. #3 Martin R
    November 21, 2011

    It’s local gneiss or granite, like most of our thousands of runestones. Not much to sample and difficult to scratch without hammer & chisel. Also a very public spot.

  4. #4 Mumin
    November 22, 2011

    And all your hammers and chisels are taken away from you in the security check anyway. Genius!

  5. #5 Birger Johansson
    November 23, 2011

    ” It’s local gneiss or granite, like most of our thousands of runestones.”

    Actually, most vikings used cheap runestones made of plywood, sold to them by “Cut-My-Own-Throat”-Dibbler*. Guaranteed to last several millennia, this claim turned out to be exaggerated.

    (*familiar to readers of Discworld novels.)

  6. #6 Martin R
    November 23, 2011

    Yes, and the typical runestone shape commemorates Dibbler’s dodgy sausages (inna bun).

  7. #7 Bill Poser
    December 26, 2011

    I wonder what percentage of passers-by can read and understand the inscription?

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