People, Runestones and Landscape in Västergötland

Two Examples from Larv and Nöre

  • Carl-Olof Siljedahl
  • Oscar Jacobsson


Runestones in the province of Västergötland have been studied quite thoroughly, but there has until recently been a lack of in-depth individual studies of these monuments. Religious and linguistic aspects have dominated runestone research in the province, while few exclusively archaeological and landscape-related studies have been conducted.

This article focuses on a landscape analysis of two runestones in Västergötland: Vg 127 in Larv and Vg 174 in Nöre. The results show that there are clear connections between these two runestones, with both standing in connection to well-established roads and border areas between settlement units and land use types. A closer inspection reveals that the stones differ in purpose and although broadly located in similar settings there are clear differences in their local landscape. The runestone in Larv is a manifestation of power while the monument in Nöre instead commemorates a tragic incident. These results illuminate the importance of studying runestones individually and not just as parts of a general cultural phenomenon.