This year’s first discovery of runes was made on March 31 by archaeologist Roger Wikell (seen to the right in the picture), who is famed for his keen eyes and persistence when it comes to tracking and finding carved rocks and runestones. This particular find was already known, but it had disappeared into the mists of time – until now.
The carvings were examined by Johannes Bureus in the early 1600s, but no one has seen them since. There has been no information about where exactly the carvings were located, or what they looked like. All that was known was the code given to them by the Swedish National Heritage Board: Sö 23B.
Bureus did leave some clues to the location in his work which vaguely pointed out a large area. This has led to people since the 1800s trying to find the carvings without success. Why Roger succeeded where others had failed is because he focused on what Bureus had written. He managed to interpret the location to a “rocky hillside”, which in combination with a lot of round cliffs in a certain area made him suspect that the carvings were made into a cliffside, rather than on a runestone. He was correct. Everyone prior him has searched for a regular runestone.
Well done Roger!
The runes are in quite bad shape and it is not possible to figure out what the carving says currently.
Even though we have more than 3000 runestones in Sweden, out of which many are spectacular, it is always amazing when new finds are made – be they rediscoveries or completely new finds.
This text is translated from a blog post by Magnus Källström, who is a runologist, associate professor and scholar within runic studies with the Swedish National Heritage Board. He is also the photographer. You can find the original blog post in Swedish here: http://www.k-blogg.se/2019/04/02/arets-forsta-runfynd-2019/