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Gotlandic Picture Stones - The Online Edition

GP 107 Gothem Västerbjärs


mer grejer

Measured length

Show planes Show edges

Parish Find Location ⓘ

Find Location ⓘ
On the property of the farm ʻVästerbjärs gårdʼ in Gothem parish.

Find Context Classification ⓘ
Private Property

Present Location Classification ⓘ
Gotlands Museum Fornsalen

Coordinate Present Location (lat) ⓘ

Coordinate Present Location (long) ⓘ


Limestone Type ⓘ
crinoid limestone

Geological Group ⓘ
Klinteberg Formation (30%)

Height ⓘ

Width ⓘ

Thickness ⓘ

Lindqvist Type 

Lindqvist Shape 

Iconographic Keywords

Runic Inscription or not ⓘ

Context and Discovery ⓘ
There is no information available about the find circumstances. The stone was discovered somewhere on the property of the farm ʻVästerbjärs gårdʼ in Gothem parish and delivered to Gotlands Museum in 1915.

Measurements, Material and Condition ⓘ
The picture stone is completely preserved, including its massive, foot-like root. “Limestone slab, in the middle 8 cm thick, at the narrow sides 4 cm. Both broad sides are hewn and smoothed, albeit a bit uneven, and now badly weathered, as are the narrow sides. Whether narrow chamfers existed cannot be determined anymore with any certainty. Total length of the stone 95 cm, of which the height above the root is 69 cm; width between the upper corners 46.5 cm, in the middle of the body 32 cm, at the base 35 cm” (Lindqvist 1941/42 II, p. 49).

Description of Ornament and Images ⓘ
Lindqvist (1941/42 II, p. 49) describes the remaining carvings in accordance with Olof Sörling’s drawing from 1918 (ibid. fig. 359–360; cf. ATA Run- och bildstenssamling): “The decoration is executed in shallow lines, about half a centimetre wide. On one face, the field surrounded by the border, which includes (at least towards the bottom) a simplified ʻtwisted cordʼ pattern between double framing lines, is divided into two panels by an identically decorated horizontal bar slightly above half of the body’s height. In the upper panel, a watercraft can be seen, with steep, towering stems. The other face bore decoration as well, but little can be seen of it, apart from the framing lines of the border, which covered a larger proportion of the face’s surface than on the other side.” The geometricized twisted cord pattern appears raised, almost like bas-relief. Lindqvist only reproduces Sörling’s drawing of the stone. The current painting of the picture stone in the exhibition in Gotlands Museum, however, shows a stylized sail rising from the ship that corresponds to the one depicted on GP 24 Ardre Petsarve II. Early photos of the unpainted stone are kept in ATA (457:24; 457:65–66).
GP 24 Ardre Petsarve II

Interpretation of the Imagery ⓘ
No interpretation

Type and Dating ⓘ
Middle type picture stone, i.e., Type B according to Lindqvist, dating to between AD 500 and 700. The stone belongs to those Type B stones described by Lindqvist (1941/42 I, pp. 38–39) as ʻdwarf stonesʼ with convex head and corners protruding horizontally. Lindqvist assigns Gothem Västerbjärs to his Stenstugruppe (1941/42 I, pp. 37–38), which is characterized by the shape as well as depictions of aquatic birds in the lower and a simple vessel (i.e., ships of the Rikvidetyp – ibid. I, p. 66) in the upper field of the stone. However, Lindqvist does not exclusively assign stones with bird depictions to this group. These monuments are frequently decorated on both sides. Lindqvist considers them to have been placed pairwise on graves. Suitable parallels to the Västerbjärs stone regarding shape and decoration are GP 96 Garda Smiss I and GP 24 Ardre Petsarve II.

According to Martin Rundkvist’s (2012, p. 159) typology, the stone’s shape represents Type dwarf3, dating to the Middle Vendel Period. Based on the reconstruction of the ship’s sail (see VI), Varenius (1992, appendix 2) assigns the ship depiction on to his group 2 (enkel rigg), which he dates to the period between the 7th and the 9th century.
GP 96 Garda Smiss I
GP 24 Ardre Petsarve II

References ⓘ
Lindqvist 1941/42 II, pp. 49–50, fig. 359–356; Varenius 1992, p. 63 fig. 17; Guber 2011, p. 120 cat. no. 21.

Bildstenen påträffades vid okänt tillfälle på marker tillhörande gården Västerbjärs, och överlämnades till Gotlands museum 1915.

Nuvarande lokalisering
Gotlands Museum, bildstenshallen.

Helt bevarad liten bildsten (period B), 95 cm hög och som bredast 69 cm. Bildstenen har kantdekorer på båda sidorna, men bara på den ena sidan finns ett fartyg med segel på det övre av två bildfält.

Kan inte dateras med säkerhet, tillhör perioden 500-600-talen.

Ingen tolkning.


GP 107 Gothem Västerbjärs

Gotlands Museum ID ⓘ

Jan Peder Lamm ID

Lindqvist Title ⓘ
Gothem, Västerbjärs

Last modifed Jun 25, 2024