Kristel Zilmer

Image of Kristel Zilmer
Norwegian version of this page
Room 203
Visiting address St. Olavs gate 29

Research interests

  • Runology - runes and runic inscriptions from the Iron Age through to the Middle Ages   
  • Forms of textual culture in the Viking Age and the Middle Ages
  • Writing, visuality, materiality
  • Identity studies
  • Historical media, mediality, multimodality
  • Artefacts - with foci on script-bearing artefacts 
  • Modern reception of Old Norse literature and culture



2005 PhD (doctor philosophiae) in Scandinavian Philology (specialization in runology and Old Norse philology). University of Tartu, Estonia

2000 Master (magister artium. cum laude) in Scandinavian Philology. University of Tartu, Estonia


2020 (May)... Professor of Runology and Iconography, Department of Archaeology, Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo

2019 (Sept 1) – 2020 (May) Associate Professor of Runology and Iconography, Department of Archaeology, Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo (UiO), Norway

2018 (March 15) – 2019 (Sept 1) Professor of Textual Studies, Department of Language, Literature, Mathematics and Interpreting, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL), Norway

2013 (Aug) – 2018 (March 15) Associate Professor of Norwegian Literature, Department of Language, Literature, Mathematics and Interpreting, HV

2008-2013   Postdoctoral Fellow, Centre for Medieval Studies (CMS), University of Bergen (UiB), Norway

2005-2008   Lecturer of Scandinavian Studies, Department of Scandinavian Studies, University of Tartu, Estonia

2002-2005   Assistant Lecturer (Norwegian Philology), Department of Scandinavian Studies, University of Tartu, Estonia

1997-2002  Teaching fellow of Norwegian, Section of Scandinavian Studies, University of Tartu, Estonia


Tags: Runology, Epigraphy, Textual Cultures, Old Norse philology, Iconography, Archaeological artefacts, Visual and material culture, Reception Studies


  • Zilmer, Kristel (2021). Runes and pictures: The Norwegian Alstad rune-stone as a multilayered monument. In Guimon, Timofey (Eds.), Dísablót. Articles presented to Elena Melnikova by colleagues and disciples on the occasion of her birthday.. Russian Academy of Sciences. ISSN 9785917914251. p. 61–68.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2021). “Fann ek bein..., I found a bone…”: Runic Artefacts as Material Evidence of Writing in Medieval Norwegian Towns . In Andersen, Kasper H.; Netterstrøm, Jeppe Büchert; Imer, Lisbeth M.; Poulsen, Bjørn & Olesen, Rikke Steenholt (Ed.), Urban Literacy in the Nordic Middle Ages. Brepols. ISSN 978-2-503-59674-7. p. 135–171. doi: https%3A/
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2020). Runic Sticks and Other Inscribed Objects from Medieval Bergen: Challenges and Possibilities. Maal og Minne. ISSN 0024-855X. 112(1), p. 65–101. Full text in Research Archive
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2019). 'Gyrðir á lykil (Gyrðir Owns the Key)': Materialized Moments of Communication in Runic Items from Medieval Bergen. In Mundal, Else & Mulligan, Amy (Ed.), Moving Words in the Nordic Middle Ages: Tracing Literacies, Texts, and Verbal Communities. Brepols. ISSN 9782503578101. p. 165–200. doi: 10.1484/
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2018). "Nobody owns the myths": Adaptations of Old Norse myth in Tor Åge Bringsværd's Vår gamle gudelære. Scandinavian Studies. ISSN 0036-5637. 90(2), p. 161–194. doi: 10.5406/scanstud.90.2.0161.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2018). Fixed and fleeting? Thoughts on the materiality and mediality of inscribed artefacts from medieval Bergen. In Bauer, Alessia; Kleivane, Elise & Spurkland, Terje (Ed.), Epigraphy in an intermedial context. Four Courts Press. ISSN 9781846827167. p. 75–100.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2016). Words in Wood and Stone: Uses of Runic Writing in Medieval Norwegian Churches. Viking and Medieval Scandinavia. ISSN 1782-7183. 12, p. 207–235. doi: 10.1484/j.vms.5.112423.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2016). Den multimodale middelalderen: om multimodalitet i historisk perspektiv. Norsklæreren. ISSN 0332-7264. 2016(1), p. 44–58.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2013). "Christian Prayers and Invocations in Scandinavian Runic Inscriptions from the Viking Age and Middle Ages". Futhark: International Journal of Runic Studies. ISSN 1892-0950. 4, p. 129–171. Full text in Research Archive
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2012). Christianity in runes: Prayers in Scandinavian rune stone inscriptions from the Viking Age and the early Middle Ages. In Zilmer, Kristel & Jesch, Judith (Ed.), Epigraphic Literacy and Christian Identity. Modes of Written Discourse in the Newly Christian European North. Brepols. ISSN 978-2-503-54294-2. p. 99–135. doi: 10.1484/m.usml-eb.5.100474.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2012). Epigraphic literacy and the communication of Christian culture in Northen Europe. In Zilmer, Kristel & Jesch, Judith (Ed.), Epigraphic Literacy and Christian Identity. Modes of Written Discourse in the Newly Christian European North. Brepols. ISSN 978-2-503-54294-2. p. 1–24. doi: 10.1484/m.usml-eb.5.100471.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2012). Monumental messages and the voice of individuality and tradition: The case of Scandinavian rune stones. In Rankovic, Slavica (Eds.), Modes of Authorship in the Middle Ages. Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies. ISSN 978-0888448224. p. 389–413.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2011). Some notes on the depiction of islands in the Baltic Sea according to Old Norse saga literature. In Gvozdetskaja, N.Ju.; Konovalova, I.G.; Melnikova, E.A. & Podossinov, A.V. (Ed.), Stanzas of Friendship. Studies in Honour of Tatjana N. Jackson. Russian Academy of Sciences. ISSN 978-5-91244-053-3. p. 436–448.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2011). The powers and purposes of an insular setting – On some motifs in Old-Norse literature. In Jørgensen, Torstein & Jaritz, Gerhard (Ed.), Isolated Islands in Medieval Nature, Culture and Mind. Central European University Press. ISSN 978-615-5053-24-5. p. 23–35.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2011). Crosses on rune-stones: Functions and interpretations. Current Swedish Archaeology. ISSN 1102-7355. 19, p. 87–112.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2010). Sailing to the East Sea - On Selected Motifs Concerning the Baltic Sea in Old Norse-Icelandic Literature. In Jackson, Tatjana (Eds.), Drevnejshie gosudarstva Vostochnoj Evropy 2009. Transkontinental'nye i lokal'nye puti kak sociokul'turnyj fenomen. Indrik. ISSN 9785916740813. p. 100–117.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2010). Broinnskriftene fra Uppland – privat markering og felles praksis. In Nordberg, Andreas & Andersson, Lars (Ed.), Bro till evigheten. Brons rumsliga, sociala och religiösa dimension under vikingatid och tidig medeltid. Stockholms läns museum. ISSN 9187006448. p. 42–51.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2010). Viking Age Rune Stones in Scandinavia: The Interplay between Oral Monumentality and Commemorative Literacy. In Rankovic, Slavica; Melve, Leidulf & Mundal, Else (Ed.), Along the oral-written continuum : types of texts, relations and their implications. Brepols. ISSN 978-2-503-53407-7. p. 135–162.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2010). Deictic references in runic inscriptions on voyage runestones. Futhark: International Journal of Runic Studies. ISSN 1892-0950. 1, p. 123–141.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2009). On the Symbiosis of Orality and Literacy in Some Christian Rune Stone Inscriptions. In Ney, Agneta; Williams, Henrik & Charpentier Ljungqvist, Fredrik (Ed.), Á austrvega. Saga and East Scandinavia. Preprint Papers of the 14th International Saga Conference. Gävle University Press. ISSN 9789197832908. p. 1074–1081.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2009). From Dilemma to Diversity - Traditional and Modern Approaches to Medieval Icelandic Sagas. Interlitteraria. ISSN 1406-0701. 14(1), p. 69–83.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2009). On Some Pragmatic and Symbolic Features of Island Representation in Old Norse Literature. Scandinavistica Vilnensis. ISSN 2029-2112. 2, p. 197–215.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2008). Scenes of Island Encounters in Icelandic Sagas: Reflections of Cultural Memory. Viking and Medieval Scandinavia. ISSN 1782-7183. 4, p. 227–248.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2008). Old Norse Poetry. Akadeemia. ISSN 0235-7771. p. 731–768.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2008). Communication and Contacts in the Baltic Region as Depicted in the Sagas of Icelanders. Sator. ISSN 1406-2011. 3, p. 29–49.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2008). Sigvatr Þórðarson: Viking Verses. Akadeemia. ISSN 0235-7771. p. 770–784.

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  • Zilmer, Kristel & Jesch, Judith (2012). Epigraphic Literacy and Christian Identity. Modes of Written Discourse in the Newly Christian European North. Brepols. ISBN 978-2-503-54294-2. 273 p.

View all works in Cristin

  • Zilmer, Kristel (2021). Review of: Laila Kitzler Åhfeldt, Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson, Per Widerström, Ben Raffield (eds.). Relations and runes: The Baltic Islands and their interactions during the Late Iron Age and Early Middle Ages. . Fornvännen. ISSN 0015-7813. p. 346–348.
  • Zilmer, Kristel & Moen Kaste, Anders (2021). På én uke fant arkeologer runebein og runepinne i Middelalderparken i Oslo. [Internet].
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2021). Unike runefunn i Middelalderparken. [Internet]. Norsk institutt for kulturminneforskning.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2021). Skadet skrift - om misbruk av runer. Språkprat. Et populærvitenskapelig tidsskrift.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2021). Årets runefunn.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2021). Runic Epigraphy and Runology.
  • Zilmer, Kristel & Nomeikaite, Laima (2021). Tyd disse runene! – om runer og graffiti fra Finnesloftet på Voss.
  • Zilmer, Kristel & Granly Meldalen, Sindre (2020). Fant unik skatt på nabogården. [Newspaper]. Dagbladet.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2020). Opplegg om runer for barn og runerunde på Historisk museum.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2020). "Tolk disse runene rett." Om å utforske gamle og nye runefunn – ekte og falske.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2020). Runer, helse og helbredelse.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2019). Skrift og materialitet som identitetsuttrykk – vikingtidens runegjenstander.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2019). Ego Sum Lapis: Runic Latin in Scandinavian Medieval Inscriptions.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2019). The use of runes in Bergen and other Norwegian towns.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2019). Runic writing in Ireland: Texts and contexts .
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2019). ‘The stone says it will long stand here’: On Viking-Age rune-stones in Scandinavia .
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2019). Writing and Reading in Medieval Bergen: The Evidence of Inscribed Artefacts.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2019). Godt øl med runer. Språkprat.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2018). Runejakt - omvisning på Finnesloftet og presentasjon av runeinnskrifter .
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2018). N814 - Folkebibliotekstomta.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2018). Hva forteller kirkeinnskrifter om runebruk på Öland, Gotland og Bornholm?
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2018). "Domnall seal’s-head owns this sword." Inscriptions and interactions in Viking-Age Ireland.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2018). Nye runefunn i Finnesloftet.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2018). Sagas of Icelanders in Norwegian Literary History.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2018). Nye funn i gammel skatt. Fortidsvern. ISSN 1504-4645. p. 34–39.
  • Dyrkorn Heierland, Ida & Zilmer, Kristel (2018). Runefunn på Finnesloftet. [Newspaper]. Avisa Hordaland.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2018). Graffiti: Ord og bilder fra nært og fjernt. Språkprat.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2017). Women as Rune-Readers and Rune-Writers in Medieval Norway.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2017). Runology: Lecture III.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2017). Runology: Lecture II.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2017). Runology: Lecture I.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2017). Middelalderkvinner og runekunnskap. Språkprat.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2017). Reading and Writing in Medieval Bergen.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2017). Middelaldermøter i stein: Vg 165 Södra Ving.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2017). Runekyndige kvinner i middelalderens Bergen.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2016). Runic Sticks as Media of Medieval Communication.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2016). Lesing og skriving i middelalderens Bergen.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2016). "Gaut laget dette og alle i Man" – om skandinaviske runeinnskrifter på øya Man.
  • Zilmer, Kristel; Heide, Eldar; Neteland, Randi; Rønning, Morten; Selås, Magnhild & Ytreland, Stina [Show all 7 contributors for this article] (2016). Vil du lære å skrive runeskrift?
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2016). "Dette ristet en blind mann" Å møte runeristere fra middelalderens Bergen.
  • Zilmer, Kristel & Budal, Ingvil Brugger (2016). Lesing og skriving i middelalderens Bergen.
  • Zilmer, Kristel & Budal, Ingvil Brugger (2016). Reading and Writing in Medieval Bergen.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2016). Review: Irene García Losquiño, The Early Runic Inscriptions: Their Western Features. (Berkeley Insights in Linguistics and Semiotics 92.). Speculum. ISSN 0038-7134. 91(2), p. 500–501.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2015). Runic Writing in Medieval Bergen.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2015). Odins ansikt og innsikt: Om adaptasjoner av norrøn mytologi i Vår gamle gudelære.
  • Slottemo, Hilde Gunn; Sandvik, Hilde; Smith-Solbakken, Marie; Bull, Ida; Halvorsen, Marit & Opsahl, Erik [Show all 12 contributors for this article] (2015). Uinformert omorganisering av Arkivverket. Morgenbladet. ISSN 0805-3847.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2015). Old Norse Myth in Contemporary Scandinavian Multimodal Narratives for Children and Young Adults.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2015). Den multimodale middelalderen – i klasserommet og utenfor.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2014). Om språket - innanfrå og utanfrå.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2014). "'Sveinn risti rúnar þessar ok bað Lúciu ráða'. Om skriving og lesing i middelalderens Bergen" .
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2014). "‘Sight Words’ in Medieval Runic Inscriptions – A Strategy of Runic Literacy?".
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2014). "Kunst, håndverk og lek med språket – om gjendiktning av lyrikk for barn".
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2014). "Moderne bildebøker som allalderbøker".
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2013). Pleasure and Pastime in Scandinavian Runic Inscriptions.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2013). The Sea of Contact: The Baltic Sea and Its Narrative Representation in Old Norse Sources.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2012). Runer på Bryggen.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2012). Runic Graffiti and Inscriptional Practices in Medieval Scandinavia.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2012). Christian Identity-Building and Social Status in Scandinavia in the 10th and 11th Centuries: The Evidence of Runic Inscriptions.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2012). Ave Maria og Pater Noster i nordiske runeinnskrifter.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2011). Kristen tro og identitet i lys av skandinaviske runeinnskrifter fra ca. 900-1200.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2011). Ruunid ja ladina kiri keskaegses Skandinaavias –kahe kirjakultuuri eripärad ja koostoime [Runes and Latin script in medieval Scandinavia - the co-existence of two written cultures].
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2011). Nordic runes and their connection to the Old Nordic Culture. [Radio]. Studentradioen i Bergen, programmet "Hodgepodge".
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2011). Runic Graffiti and Christian Symbols in Norwegian Stave Churches.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2011). Tradition and Individual Variation in Swedish Rune Stone Inscriptions.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2010). Runes and Christianity: Practices in the Viking Age and the Middle Ages.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2010). On the Function and Role of Crosses on Scandinavian Rune Stones and Grave Stones (10th-12th centuries).
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2009). Om runekyndighet i vikingtiden og middelalderen. [Radio]. NRK. Språkteigen.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2009). Christianity in Runes: On Some Contexts of Application in Viking and Medieval Scandinavia.
  • Zilmer, Kristel (2009). Brosteiner som minnesmerker og identitetsmarkører. Om noen private og offentlige funksjoner til runesteiner som omtaler broer.
  • Thorvaldsen, Bernt Ø; Berg, Ivar & Zilmer, Kristel (2018). Høringsuttalelse om kjerneelementer i norskfaget fra Samarbeidsnemnda for norrøn filologi. Utdanningsdirektoratet.

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Published Oct. 3, 2019 8:13 AM - Last modified June 21, 2021 10:44 AM