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Gotlandic Picture Stones - The Online Edition

GP 10 Alva St. Ringome


mer grejer

Measured length

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Parish Find Location ⓘ

Find Location ⓘ
East of the village of Stora Ringome in Alva parish (RAÄ Alva 29:1).

Find Context Classification ⓘ

Coordinate Find Location (lat) ⓘ

Coordinate Find Location (long) ⓘ

Present Location Classification ⓘ
Gotlands Museum Magasin Visborg

Coordinate Present Location (lat) ⓘ

Coordinate Present Location (long) ⓘ


Limestone Type ⓘ
crinoid limestone

Geological Group ⓘ
Eke Formation (40%)

Height ⓘ

Width ⓘ

Thickness ⓘ

Lindqvist Type 

Lindqvist Shape 

Iconographic Keywords

Runic Inscription or not ⓘ

Context and Discovery ⓘ
“The two picture stone fragments were found near Stora Ringome around 1910 and are now incorrectly assembled with cement. They were kept there by the property owner, shoemaker Karl Jakobson as late as 1940. The photographs were taken by Amanuens Gunnar Svahnström [cf. GF 895:68–69; ATA A 78:112–113], additional information was provided by docent Mårten Stenberger” (Lindqvist 1941/42 II, p. 18). The find place (RAÄ Alva 29:1) is situated circa 100 m east of the village of Stora Ringome in Alva parish, on the other (i.e., eastern) side of the road between Havdhem and Hemse ('Stora Vägen'). The spot is located about 10 m east of the road, about 70 m west of the old railway line between Hemse and Alva. The picture stone fragments were discovered together with a 'gravklot' and a grindstone. According to a letter addressed to M. Stenberger, kept in the archive of Gotlands Museum, in 1945, the picture stone was stored in the cellar of Ada Block in Hemse (dnr 65/45). Today, it is kept in the storage of Gotlands Museum in Visborg.

Measurements, Material and Condition ⓘ
The smaller of the two fragments represents approximately the left third of the head of a middle type picture stone, including the outer edge and corner, as well as a small section of the head field. It features a fixed crack and therefore could be regarded as two pieces. The bigger fragment represents approximately the left half of the small stone’s lower image field, including the left edge. As stated above, the two fragments had been assembled incorrectly by the finder and put together with cement; however, Lindqvist’s reconstruction shows the correct arrangement (1941/42 II, fig. 310). Today the two pieces are separated again. The sandy surface of the fragments is even and well preserved. Only face B of the lower (bigger) fragment is badly damaged and therefore no carvings are visible on it. Measurements are given by Lindqvist (ibid. p. 18): “Limestone slab, at the bottom 4.5 cm thick, at the top 3.5 cm. The smoothed narrow side is separated from the broad sides by chamfers 1.4 cm wide. The height of the larger fragment is 27.8 cm, its width 21 cm. The longest broken edge of the other fragment is 27.5 cm long, the width is 18.7 cm.”

Description of Ornament and Images ⓘ
The stone was decorated on both sides. The carved lines are remarkably broad and clearly visible. The figures on face A have been traced with paint by the owner. The preserved edges feature a framing border with a herringbone pattern. On face A, the lower (bigger) fragment depicts a waterbird with a massive body, a pointed tail, a long, curved neck with a tiny head, and a human-like leg and foot. Most probably, the figure represents a goose or perhaps a swan. The bird is turning to the left and it seems more than likely that there had been an antithetic counterpart on the lost right half of the stone’s lower image field. Face A of the head fragment features the towering stem of a simple ship depiction. On face B, only remains of the herringbone border are preserved. There is uncertain evidence of a horizontal border separating both image fields. On face B of the smaller fragment, however, there might be traces of a horizontal border (Lindqvist 1941/42 II, p. 18).

Interpretation of the Imagery ⓘ
There are at least ten Type B picture stones with images of single aquatic birds or antithetic pairs of waterfowl known so far (see IX). More information about the possible origin of this motif in Christian iconography and its interpretation in a pre-Christian Scandinavian context, in particular regarding eschatological beliefs and ideas of the afterlife journey, see GP 276 När Rikvide I. Regarding Christian influence on the imagery of ʻAbschnittʼ B see also GP 551 Väskinde Butter and GP 274 Norrlands Bringes.
GP 276 När Rikvide (I)
GP 551 Väskinde Butter
GP 274 Norrlanda Bringes

Type and Dating ⓘ
Middle type picture stone, i.e., Type B according to Lindqvist, dated to AD 500 to 700. The stone belongs to those Type B stones described by Lindqvist (1941/42 I, pp. 38–39) as dwarf stones with convex head and corners protruding horizontally. Lindqvist assigns Alva St. Ringome to his so-called 'Stenstugruppe' (1941/42 I, pp. 37–38), which is characterized by depictions of aquatic birds in the lower field and a simple vessel (i.e., ships of the 'Rikvidetyp' – ibid. I, p. 66) in the upper field of the stone. These monuments are frequently decorated on both sides. Lindqvist considers them to have been placed in pairs on graves. The currently known Type B monuments featuring single or pairs of aquatic birds are the following: GP 142 Halla Broa VII, GP 165 Halla Broa XVII, GP 129 Hablingbo Stenstu, GP 276 När Rikvide I, GP 277 När Rikvide 2, GP 10 Alva St. Ringome, GP 96 Garda Smiss I, GP 274 Norrlanda Bringes, GP 200 Hemse Lindvide, and the Type B dwarf stone found in Grobin, Latvia (Petrenko 1991; Lamm 1991; Lamm/Nylén 2003, pp. 210–211). As far as Alva St. Ringome is concerned, GP 129 Hablingbo Stenstu is the closest parallel, featuring a very similar type of bird, probably a comparable ship, as well as the same outline (Lindqvist 1941/42 II, p. 18). The only suitable parallel to the herringbone pattern is GP 147 Halla Broa X.

Although nothing more than the vessel’s stem is preserved, Varenius (1992, appendix 2) assigns the ship depiction on Alva St. Ringome to his group 2 ('enkel rigg'), which he dates to the period between the 7th and the 9th century.
GP 142 Halla Broa VII
GP 165 Halla Broa XVII
GP 129 Hablingbo Stenstu
GP 276 När Rikvide (I)
GP 277 När Rikvide 2
GP 96 Garda Smiss I
GP 274 Norrlanda Bringes
GP 200 Hemse Lindvide
GP 147 Halla Broa X

References ⓘ
Lindqvist 1941/42 II, p. 18, fig. 310; Böhner 1968, pp. 188–189; Guber 2011, p. 110 cat. no. 2; Oehrl 2019a, p. 168.

Två fragment påträffades 1910 cirka 100 m öster om Stora Ringome, på östra sidan om gamla vägen mellan Hemse och Havdhem.

Nuvarande lokalisering
Gotlands museums magasin på Visborgsslätt.

Två fragment (27.8 x 21 cm och 27.5 x 18,7 cm) av en dvärgbildsten (typ B) med bilder på båda sidorna. På sidan A en sjöfågel (gås eller svan) och en kantdekoration och på sidan B rester av en kantdekoration.

Dateringen oklar, men tillhör perioden 500-700.

För vidare tolkning av sjöfågelmotivet se GP 276 När Rikvide I, GP 551 Väskinde Butter och GP 274 Norrlanda Bringes.

GP 276 När Rikvide (I)
GP 551 Väskinde Butter
GP 274 Norrlanda Bringes

GP 10 Alva St. Ringome

Fornsök ID ⓘ

Alva 29:1

Gotlands Museum ID ⓘ

Jan Peder Lamm ID

Lindqvist Title ⓘ
Alva, Stora Ringome

Last modifed Jun 25, 2024