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Personal names

People’s names were the most common type of runic inscription in all periods. Names were written on small objects to tell who owned or had made them, such as when ‘Arni owns’ has been carved on a carpenter’s plane.

Personal names are also commonly found as an addition to inscriptions containing the alphabet itself, the futhork. The alphabet and one’s own name are the first things people learn when starting to write.

Sometimes personal names were carved in an artistic way, as on three objects on the right near the back of the display: The man’s name ‘Þorgeirr’ is written with an intricate bind-rune of org (runes written together). The woman’s name ‘Ása’ is written osæ as an intricate bind-rune. The man’s name ‘Únáss’ is written as spokes in a wheel.

Bildet kan inneholde: brun, khaki, så, beige, lever.

Bildet kan inneholde: gul, linje, oransje, illustrasjon.

1.‘Gulbrandr/Guðbrandr[?].’ Cow rib fragment from Tønsberg. 1175–1200.

Bildet kan inneholde: brun, beige, khaki, naturlig materiale.

Bildet kan inneholde: gul, linje, gest.

2. ‘Þorgei(rr).’ Turned wooden bowl fragment from Oslo. 1200s/1300s.

Bildet kan inneholde: tre, brun, hardved, så, beige.

Bildet kan inneholde: gul, linje, rav, oransje, verden.

3. ‘Arnfinnr.’ Small wooden spade from Oslo. 1300s?

Bildet kan inneholde: tre, brun, khaki, så, beige.

Bildet kan inneholde: gul, linje, oransje, skråningen, så.

4. ‘Ása’ (as a bind-rune). Bottom of a wooden vessel from Oslo. C. 1300.

Bildet kan inneholde: brun, khaki, rav, så, beige.

Bildet kan inneholde: gul, linje, oransje, rav, parallell.

5. ‘Únáss’ (in a circle). / [‘Øl-Erlendr.’/‘Goblin.’] Rib fragment from Tønsberg. 1200–1300.

Bildet kan inneholde: tre, brun, khaki, vegg, skrift.

Bildet kan inneholde: gul, linje, parallell, så, beige.

6. ‘Ása.’ Rib fragment from Oslo. 1025–1075.

Bildet kan inneholde: tre, brun, fotografi, khaki, så.

Bildet kan inneholde: gul, brun, linje, beige, khaki.

7. ‘Ásbjörn.’ Wooden peg from Tønsberg. 1300–1375.

Bildet kan inneholde: natur, brun, naturlige omgivelser, gul, atmosfære.

Bildet kan inneholde: brun, gul, linje, fargerikhet, så.

8. ‘Ríkarðr/Richard owns me.’ Round stick from Oslo. 1300–1350.

Bildet kan inneholde: brun, khaki, rav, så, beige.

Bildet kan inneholde: brun, gul, linje, rav, skrift.

9. ‘Karl.’ Rib fragment from Oslo. 1200–1250.

All photos: Eirik Irgens Johnsen © Museum of Cultural History

Published Dec. 18, 2020 8:17 AM - Last modified Mar. 8, 2021 9:13 AM