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."

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

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.

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

" 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.)

By Birger Johansson (not verified) on 23 Nov 2011 #permalink