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Gotlandic Picture Stones - The Online Edition

GP 113 Grötlingbo kyrka


mer grejer

Measured length

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Parish Find Location ⓘ

Find Location ⓘ
In a grave on the churchyard.

Find Context Classification ⓘ

Coordinate Find Location (lat) ⓘ

Coordinate Find Location (long) ⓘ

Parish Present Location ⓘ

Present Location ⓘ
Grötlingbo church, in a niche in the southern choir wall.

Present Location Classification ⓘ

Coordinate Present Location (lat) ⓘ

Coordinate Present Location (long) ⓘ


Height ⓘ

Width ⓘ

Thickness ⓘ

Lindqvist Type 

Lindqvist Shape 

Runic Inscription or not ⓘ

Runic Inscription ⓘ
botuat(r) · ----(k) : heruþr : litu : stain : þena : (e)(f)… …uþ : (m)… …

Old West Norse
Bóthvatr … Herrøðr létu stein þenna ep[tir] … m[óður] …

Runic Swedish
Bothvatr … Hærrøðr letu stæin þenna æf[tiʀ] … m[oður] …

Bóthvatr … Herrøðr had this stone … in memory of … mother …

Botvat … och(?) Härröd lät (resa) denna sten efter …, sin moder(?).

Quote from Runor

Context and Discovery ⓘ
The stone was found in a grave on the churchyard c. 1928, or not later than that according to Lindqvist (1942, p. 50). It was taken care of by Erik Jacobsson.

The building year according to Strelow is 1090. Parts of the present church date to the 13th century, but Grötlingbo church includes reused façade reliefs of the 12th century, attributed to the workshop of master Sigraiv. The taxation list has the date 1199. The longhouse and choir from the 12th century were torn down and replaced by the middle of the 14th century (Stolt 2001, pp. 54–55; BeBR). Very little information can be found about the find circumstances of the stone, but there is an interesting note in Bebyggelseregistret that the churchyard was expanded to the north in 1928 (Stolt 2001, p. 16; BeBR). This might imply that the stone was found by the northern part of the church, which is particularly is interesting in view of the runic inscription, possibly indicating that the stone was raised in memory of a mother. The churchyards on Gotland in the Late Viking period were segregated according to sex, with men in the south and women in the north (Thunmark-Nylén 1989, p. 213; 1995, p. 162; Trotzig 1970; Staecker 1997a, pp. 203, 207f; 1997b, p. 67 ff; 2001, pp. 198 ff; Ljung 2016 II, p. 169). Fifteen more picture stones have been found in Grötlingbo parish, including the large cemetery at Barshaldershed and ranging from type A to E. At Roes, a small sandstone disk with a runic inscription in the older futhark has been found, GP 123 Grötlingbo Roes I (G 40).

Measurements, Material and Condition ⓘ
Sandstone. Height 0,39 m, width 0,37–0, 48 m, thickness 0,08–0,10 m. Fragment, constituting the head of a runestone, the upper or third part of the stone (Fornsök).

The obverse is hewn flat. The narrow sides are dressed (with preserved tool marks preserved), slightly concave crosswise. Clear chamfers about 1 cm wide towards both broad sides. The reverse is raw but almost naturally flat, not hewn. The width of the head probably once was 48 cm (Lindqvist 1941/1942 II, p. 50; GR I, p. 49, G 37).

The decoration, which was confined to the hewn broad side, includes, along the edge, an inscription band, 3 cm wide and between two grooves, each 4 mm wide, 2 mm deep, and with a v-shaped profile. The runes are made of lines slightly narrower and shallower than these. Also in the panel are an animal’s head and a loop with curled end, both of which – like the rune band– first were defined by contour lines, but later generally appeared as raised figures after the background field had been chiselled down almost 2 mm deep (Lindqvist 1941/1942 II, p. 50). To the right, a piece has been broken off, causing loss of a part of the inscription. The inscription is deeply cut and generally clear, where it is not damaged. According to von Friesen, the varying and somewhat clumsy shapes of the runes indicate an unexperienced carver. Alternatively, according to Wessén, this may be due to the coarse-grained sandstone (GR I, p. 49). The impression is that the stone was abandoned in the middle of the carving process and that we see an intermediary stage when only parts of the relief carving had been completed. Tool marks can clearly be seen in the sunken surface of the relief, and we can see how the carver removed material section by section.

Judging by a sequence of photos by A. Edle, the stone was painted in 1936.

Description of Ornament and Images ⓘ
The stone has the traditional mushroom-shaped form of a Gotland picture stone, with a rune band following the edge. The head and the tail meet in the middle. The runic animal can be classified as Pr 3 in A.-S. Gräslund’s style-chronological system (Gräslund 2002, p. 144). The research platform Runor presently includes eight runestones on Gotland in this group, most of them on the southern part of the island.

Interpretation of the Imagery ⓘ
According to Wessén, this type of monument most probably was produced as churchyard monuments (GR I, p. 50). Wessén indicates that in the setting of a churchyard, the stones did not need to be large in order to attract attention. He thought that they belonged to an early phase of Christianity. The shape is associated with the picture stone tradition, but the border ornament has been replaced by a rune band. Thus, the inscription has increased in importance as compared to the older picture stones. Dwarf stones of this type are most common on southern Gotland. Wessén quotes the following as parallels: GP 333–334 Rone kyrka (G 52–53), GP 201 Hemse Annexhemman I (G 57), GP 231 Levide kyrka I (G 77), GP 480–481 Stånga kyrka I–II (G 86–87), GP 278 När Bosarve (G 92), GP 282 När Hallute (G 93), GP 279 När Mickelgårds (G 94), GP 23 Ardre kyrka IV (G 111), GP 20 Ardre kyrka VII (G 112), GP 22 Ardre kyrka III (G 113), GP 15–18 Ardre kyrka I, II, V and VI (G 114). However, as noted by Ljung, GP 15–18 is not a dwarf stone but a cist monument (Ljung 2016 I, p. 165 note 74). Several of these are made of sandstone (GRI, p. 50). Ljung calls attention to the similarities between the dwarf stones of Gotland to the early Christian grave monuments on Öland, for example the small size, the relief-carved ornament, and the dressed shape of the stone. However, there is a difference in that Gotland stones are more often carved on both broad sides, which is very unusual on Öland (Ljung 2016 I, pp. 165, 169). The purpose and situation of the dwarf stones need to be nuanced, as not all of them have been found in churchyard contexts. There might have been some variation, but as the stone GP 113 was found in connection with grave digging on the churchyard, it was probably raised there (Ljung 2016, pp. 166–167). This indicates that there was a churchyard in the 11th century, unless the stone was brought there from somewhere else (Press 1964).
GP 333 Rone kyrka I
GP 334 Rone kyrka II
GP 201 Hemse Annexhemman I
GP 231 Levide kyrka (I)
GP 480 Stånga kyrka I
GP 481 Stånga kyrka II
GP 278 När Bosarve
GP 282 När Hallute
GP 279 När Mickelgårds
GP 23 Ardre kyrka IV
GP 20 Ardre kyrka VII
GP 22 Ardre kyrka III
GP 15 Ardre kyrka I
GP 16 Ardre kyrka II
GP 17 Ardre kyrka V
GP 18 Ardre kyrka VI

Type and Dating ⓘ
Type E, dwarf-stone. Pr 3, c. 1050–1080 AD.

References ⓘ
Lindqvist 1941/1942 II, p. 50, Fig. 152; GR I, G 37; Stolt 2002, p. 51 Fig. 73, p. 95; Ljung 2016 I, pp. 165–167.

På kyrkogården

Nuvarande förvaringsplats
I kyrkan, i en nisch i korets sydvägg.

Ca 1050-1080 e.Kr.

Övre delen av en bildstensformad runsten. På stenen syns ett rundjur med huvuvd och stjärt samt ett kantföljande runband med inskriften ”Botvat … och(?) Härröd lät (resa) denna sten efter …, sin moder(?).” Ristaren har påbörjat reliefhuggning av ornamentiken, men slutat innan den var klar.

Stenen var troligen avsedd att stå på kyrkogården. Kanske gick den sönder innan den var färdig, eftersom reliefhuggningen inte fullbordats. Stenhuggaren tycks ha avbrutits mitt i arbetsprocessen.


GP 113 Grötlingbo kyrka

Fornsök ID ⓘ

Grötlingbo 146:3

Jan Peder Lamm ID

Lindqvist Title ⓘ
Grötlingbo, Kirchhof

Runverket ID ⓘ
G 37

Last modifed Jun 25, 2024