The research unit Göttingen focuses on two areas of runological research.
The first one is devoted to the study of the South Germanic runic inscriptions. This runic corpus, consisting of about 90 inscriptions, coming for the most part from the South and South-West of Germany, comprises different objects on which runic inscriptions are found, predominantly brooches (in women’s graves) and more infrequently weapons (in men’s graves). The objects were deposited in particular as funerary goods in row grave cemeteries of the Merovingian period (5th-7th centuries). Regarding the content, they are short inscriptions, often consisting of just one word, in many cases a name.
Working together with specialists in the fields of onomastics and archaeology and on the basis of autopsies undertaken by project members, the inscriptions will be presented in a new edition in a concise form and with extensive picture documentation.
The second field of research, conducted by the project members in Munich (Institute for Nordic Philology) is constituted by the North Germanic Runica Manuscripta, contained in manuscripts in Scandinavia, on the continent and also in the British Isles. Following the example of the seminal edition by René Derolez, the work in this research unit aims to collect systematically all the Nordic manuscript runes and present them according to uniform editing criteria. The edition will describe the characteristics of the individual entries (such as orthography, graphemics etc.) and also consider the general context of each manuscript as an indicator of the function of Runica Manuscripta.