[Translate to English:]

Annual Meeting of Field Runologists

The close international co-operation of field runologists finds its expression in numerous joint object autopsies and research initiatives as well in the Annual Meeting of Field Runologists.

Members of this group from the RuneS project group are:
Alessia Bauer
Klaus Düwel († 31.12.2020)
Edith Marold
Alessandro Palumbo
Sofia Pereswetoff-Morath
Christiane Zimmermann

Annual Meeting of the Field Runologists 2022
The 33rd meeting of field runologists took place from October 6–9 2022 in Uppsala, Sweden. The focus was on selected rune stones from Uppland, dating predominantly to the Viking Period. The meeting began on Thursday evening with short presentations in the Upplandsmuseet, which were also open to the wider public. On the Friday morning (Oct 7), there was the opportunity to examine several (partly fragmentary) runic objects in the storage of the Upplandsmuseet. In the afternoon, there was an excursion to eight other rune stones in Uppland, including the Stone of Stora Ramsjö (U 1175), which bears a non-lexical inscription. The excursion on the Saturday (Oct 8) led to further Upplandic rune stones of the Viking Period, where, among others, questions of carver personalities, writing variants and alternative interpretations were discussed. The excursion culminated in a visit to to the famous Krogsta stone (U 1125), dated to the period of the older futhark and characterised in particular by its imagery. The meeting ended on the Sunday (Oct 9) with a „Forretningsmøte“ with runological news from the different countries, at which the Svingerud stone recently discovered in Norway was presented for the first time.

Due to the pandemic, there were no meetings of field runologist in 2020 and  2021.

Annual Meeting of Field Runologists 2019
The 32nd Meeting of Field Runologists took place in Medelpad, Sweden, 23–26 May 2019. The conference focused on the fourteen rune stones from Medelpad. The examination and discussion of the Viking Age stones with regard to reading and interpretation was intended as a preparation for an edition of these inscriptions. The conference began with short lectures on the evening of the first day. The morning of the next day was dedicated to introductory lectures on the Sundsvall Museum, an overview of previous research on the Medelpad inscriptions and archaeological investigation in Medelpad. The afternoon excursion went to rune stones in Njurunda sn with the well-known Nolby stone, which is still in its original place, to Selånger sn as well as to the imposing Selånger church ruins from the 12th century, terminating at the stone of Högom, which stands in a landscape shaped by large royal burial mounds. The excursion on Saturday (May 25th) led to the area around the churches of Tuna and Skön, where another nine rune stones were examined. The meeting ended with a “Forretningsmøte” on Sunday (May 26th) with runological news from various countries.

Annual Meeting of Field Runologists 2018
The 31st Meeting of Field Runologists took place at the invitation of Jan Ragnar Hagland from 20–23 September 2018 in Trondheim. It started with an evening of short presentations on inscriptions from Trondheim (“Møte med Trondheims runeinnskrifter”). The next day was spent with autopsies of various inscriptions from Trondheim, which are currently being prepared for publication. In NTNU Vitenskapsmuseet additional inscriptions could be inspected, including the famous Kuli stone (N 449) with its reference to Christianity, combined with a lecture on the technical possibilities of a digital examination of the inscription. The next day was dedicated to the inspection of graffiti in churches, in the morning in and around Nidaros Cathedral with 42 inscriptions ranging from simple names to prayers of supplication, in the afternoon during an excursion to churches in the area of Trondheim: Værnes kirke, Sakshaug Kirke and Mære kirke. The meeting ended with a “Forretningsmøte” with various pieces of information from different countries.
Edith Marold presented a paper with the title „Sá skyli maðr rúnar rísta – Runepinden fra Trondhjem (NA 142)“.
Alessia Bauer presented a paper on “Den usystematiske bruken av punkterte runer”.

Annual Meeting of Field Runologists 2017
The 30th Annual Meeting of Field Runologists took place in Skara, Västergötland, Sweden, 21–24 September 2016. The meeting began with short presentations on the inscriptions of the region: E. Marold presented a paper on „Odin and the Högstena inscription“ („Odin og Högstenaindskriften“). The first day was dedicated to the objects in the Västergötland Museum in Skara: grave slabs made of sandstone from the period 1000 to 1200 AD, medieval utensils (grindstone, wooden bowl, knife shaft and rune bones etc. with runic inscriptions from the 11th century and the Middle Ages). On the evening of the first day an excursion led to the ruins of the monastery of Varnhem (probably the first church in Västergötland) and to the excavations of Christian graves. Subsequently, rune stones were examined in Kara Gård and Dagsnäs. The excursion on the second day went to numerous rune stones in the surrounding churches, the highlight being the famous Sparlösa stone with its difficult-to-interpret pictorial representations. The meeting ended with a “Forretningsmøte” with runological news from various countries.

Annual Meeting of Field Runologists 2016
08–11 September 2016 on the Isle of Man

Annual Meeting of Field Runologists 2015
07–11 October 2015 on Bornholm

Annual Meeting of Field Runologists 2014
The 27th Annual Meeting of Field Runologists took place in Oslo, 4–6 April 2014, with the theme “The theory and method of runology”. It convened at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters in Oslo, and was organised and sponsored by the runological research project at the Academy’s Centre for Advanced Study (=CAS; i.e. “Reading and interpreting runic inscriptions: the theory and method of runology”, headed by James Knirk). The meeting consisted of lectures and discussion.
Christiane Zimmermann from the RuneS project group Kiel was co-organiser of the meeting as member of the CAS project and as Fellow of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.
The following papers were given by RuneS members:
Alessia Bauer, Alessia: „Runica manuscripta. Methodologische Überlegungen: Probleme und Lösungen“.
Marold, Edith: „Vers oder nicht Vers? Argumente und Kriterien für eine Klassifikation“/„Poetry or not? Implications for interpretation“.
Zimmermann, Ute: „Interpretation von Brakteateninschriften: Methode und Überlegungen“/„Interpretation of Bracteate Inscriptions: Methods and Considerations“.
Zimmermann, Christiane: „Interdisziplinäre Interpretation“.

Annual Meeting of Field Runologists 2013
The 26th Meeting of Field Runologists was held in Mora (Dalarna), Sweden, from 3–6 October 2013 on invitation by Magnus Källström, Helmer Gustavson and Patrik Larsson. The meeting focused on autopsies of the post-Reformation runic inscriptions on the region around Mora in Zorns Gammelgård, Drändjgard (Färnäs), Bonäs bygdegård, Gullågården (Våmhus), Älvdalen, Nybolet (Våmhus sn.) and in the Museum Rots skans.
A. Bauer, A. Fischnaller, E. Marold and Ch. Zimmermann participated as RuneS members.

Annual Meeting of Field Runologists 2012
The 25th Meeting of Field Runologists took place from 13–16 September 2012 in Stavanger, Norway, on invitation by Prof. Dr. James Knirk and Jonas Nordby. The topic of this meeting were autopsies of the objects with runic inscriptions (older and younger fuþark/fuþork) in the Arkeologisk museum, Universitetet i Stavanger as well as an excursion to selected rune stones in the regions Rogaland and Vest-Agder. 
A. Bauer, E. Marold and Ch. Zimmermann participated as RuneS members. 

Annual Meeting of Field Runologists 2011
The 24th Meeting of Field Runologists in 2011 took place in Uppsala 23–25 September 2011 on invitation by Prof. Dr. Henrik Williams, Dr. Marco Bianchi and Dr. Svante Fischer. This meeting centred on autopsies of runic coins and runic bracteates in Uppsala universitets myntkabinett, autopsies of runic small finds in the archaeological collection in Husbyborg, including mediaeval copper brasses with runic inscriptions, as well as autopsies of selected memorial inscriptions from the region Västmanland.
A. Bauer, E. Marold and Ch. Zimmermann took part as members of the RuneS project group. 

Annual Meeting of Field Runologists 2010
The 23rd Meeting of Field Runologists in 2010 was organised by the RuneS project group Kiel. The meeting took place on 22–25 April 2010 in Schloss Gottorf, Schleswig. The topic of this meeting were autopsies of the Viking Age and mediaeval runic finds from Haithabu and Schleswig. Some new finds of South Germanic inscriptions (including those from the grave field in Lauchheim) were presented and investigated as well.


CAS project: "Reading and interpreting runic inscriptions"

This research programme, initiated by James E. Knirk (University of Oslo), deals with the science-theoretical positioning and methodological foundations of runology as an independent research discipline – "The theory and method of runology". One of the outcomes of the research in this project will be a Handbook of Runology.

Members of the core group of the CAS research group are Michael P. Barnes (London), Henrik Williams (Uppsala), Magnus Källström (Stockholm/Visby) and Christiane Zimmermann (RuneS-project Kiel). 

The project was granted in the summer of 2011 by the Centre for Advanced Study (CAS) at the Norwegian Academy for Science and Letters. The grant contained a research visit at the Academy of Sciences in Oslo (Centre for Advanced Study [CAS] – Senter for grunnforskning) in the academic year 2013/2014.

The results of the project have since been published in the series Runrön and in the specialist journal Futhark, among them also the contributions by Christiane Zimmermann on „Corpus Editions of Inscriptions in the Older Futhark“ (2021) and (with Henrik Williams and Marco Bianchi) on „Corpus Editions of Runic Inscriptions in Supranational Databases“ (2021).



Andvari – A Portal to the Visual World of Early Medieval Northern Europe:

The aim of the international and interdisciplinary project under the direction of Prof Lilla Kopár (Catholic University of America, Washington D.C.) and Prof Nancy Wicker (University of Mississippi) is the installation of a freely accessible portal on Northern European iconography of the Early Middle Ages (4th–12th cent.), which also includes the runic monuments; for further details of the project see the project website.

In the years 2019–2022, the cooperation with Andvari, running since 2012, was consolidated in the domains image database and motif thesaurus, as the combination of script and image in the runic inscriptions plays a special role in Module III, Runic Text Grammar and Pragmatics. In particular, an exchange took place with regard to the tagging of motifs, so that the tags of the thesaurus can also be used for the annotation of the runic monuments. On this basis, it is also planned to link the RuneS database with the Andvari portal.


Cooperations with archaeological state monument offices

Several state monument offices cooperate with RuneS members in the review process of new finds. There is close cooperation between the Bayerisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege and Prof Dr Alessia Bauer. In 2022, Alessia Bauer gave her expertise several times on runological new finds. This exchange led to a publication on a disc fibula with runes recently discovered in an early mediaeval grave field in Enkering.

Dr Christiane Zimmermann has been cooperating with the Landesamt für Denkmalpflege Baden-Württemberg since 2013, giving several runological expertises for the state office, including the latest new finds from the early mediaeval grace field in Lauchheim. Some of the engravings on the artefacts examined, however, turned out to be non-runic or at the very most rune-like signs.

There is also a cooperation with the British Portable Antiquities Scheme, run by the British Museum and the Amgueddfa Cymru – Museum Wales. This is designed to support the recording of archaeological finds discovered by the public in England and Wales. Prof Dr Gaby Waxenberger has provided several expertises as part of the presentation of runic new finds for the scheme’s database.


Co-operation with the Dictionary of Old English

In order to make available the results of the RuneS project to a wider academic public a close co-operation between the RuneS research unit Eichstätt-Munich and the Dictionary of Old English (DOE), Toronto, Canada, was established. 
The following fields of co-operation were agreed on:
1. Gaby Waxenberger has been appointed Specialist Reader, i.e. she will check the runic entries, correcting and making additions as necessary.
2. The corpus basis of the DOE will be extended to include runic new finds, and older, doubtful runic inscriptions already incorporated into the DOE will be deleted.
3. The Pre-Old English runic inscriptions will be integrated into the entries of the DOE.
4. Links: The entries of the DOE will be linked to the RuneS database.


Kooperation mit skandinavischen Datenbanken: Danske Runeindskrifter

The database Danske Runeindskrifter evolved in the years 2003–2006 in cooperation between the Institut for Nordiske studier og Sprogvidenskab of the University of Copenhagen and the Danish National Museum and can be accessed on the internet since 2009. It comprises runic inscriptions from the geographical region that made up Denmark in the Middle Ages, i.e. not only Jutland and the Danish islands, but also Slesvig-Holstein and Skåne.

The datasets of the database have already been linked to the finds in the RuneS database. Above this, there is a regular exchange on the reciprocal extension of the data pool (inclusion of Danish new finds in the RuneS database, extension in the database Danske Runeindskrifter on the inscriptions from Slesvig, coordination on updating and correcting individual data).


Cooperation with Scandinavian databases: Runor

The project Samnordisk runtextdatabas has existed since 1993, since 2020 the database has been accessible online via the search portal Runor of the Swedish Riksantikvarieämbetet (Swedish National Heritage Board). The database contains runic inscriptions from Sweden, Norway and Denmark, but also from other areas which were part of the Scandinavian sphere of influence in the Viking Period.

The cooperation aims at reciprocal, dataset-specific linking of the two databases: Through this, the users of  the RuneS database can directly access additional data on specific finds  that are also included in the platform Runor over the Riksantikvarieämbetet. The corresponding find data of the RuneS database have already been linked with the datasets of Runor, relinking from Runor to RuneS is the in planning stage (see Chap. 7.2.3: Digitalisierung). Through this relinking, the graphemic data of the new RuneS website will also be accessible via the platform Runor. For the work in Module III on Runic Text Grammar and Pragmatics, close cooperation regarding linguistic annotation of runic texts is being planned, so that these data for the find groups analysed in the two databases can also be made reciprocally available through linking.


UNI runes - Runic Font Encoding Working Group

The international working group UNI runes aims at extending the Unicode table for use in runological research and the development of a universal Unicode-based runic font, which is also to contain, e.g., the sign variants of the research results of the RuneS project.

The project coordinator is Tarrin Wills (Den Arnamagnæanske Kom­mission, Kopenhagen), the chair persons are Elisabeth Magin PhD (Kulturhistorisk museum, Universitetet i Oslo) and Marcus Smith (Riksantikvarieämbetet, Stockholm/Visby), the representative of the RuneS project in the working group is Christiane Zimmermann.


International Runic Advisory Group

Christiane Zimmermann represents German runology in the International Runic Advisory Group.


Work group "Frisian inscriptions"

The work group on the Frisian inscriptions deals with the special problems of this group of inscriptions. These include mainly new datings of the existing inscriptions with the help of improved technical devices (archaeology), but also from a runological-linguistic perspective. This new dating is to shed light on the corpus and its attribution. The most important question is whether there is in fact an independent Frisian corpus. Members of this work group are Prof. Dr. John Hines, Prof. Dr. Hans Frede Nielsen, members of the Fryske Akademy and the Fries Museum Leeuwarden as well as, from the RuneS project group, Kerstin Kazzazi and Gaby Waxenberger. 

Activities 2014: Conference Across the North Sea. North Sea Connections from AD 400 into the Viking Age. Second Interdisciplinary Symposium on Runes and Related topics in Frisia, 5–8 June 2014, Fries Museum, Leeuwarden (organized by John Hines, Nelleke IJssennagger, Tim Pestell, Tineke Looijenga, Gaby Waxenberger, Kerstin Kazazzi and Han Nijdam). 
The general aim of the symposium was to advance the discussion on the early Frisian-Anglo-Saxon and other cross-North Sea relations within a fully cross-disciplinary and international framework. The symposium focussed on the challenges of measuring and explaining the demographic and linguistic relationships across the North Sea between England and the continental coasts in the decisive period of the early 5th century AD into the Viking Age, with a particular focus on the earlier period. This topic was approached from a runological, a linguistic, a toponymic, a historical, an archaeological, a legal, and an archaeogenetic angle: that is, it is an interdisciplinary subject. 
RuneS project members gave the following papers:
Kazzazi, Kerstin: „Methodological and Linguistic Perspectives on the Definition of the Frisian Runic Corpus“.
Waxenberger, Gaby: „Sounds and Forms in the Frisian Runic Corpus“.
Zimmermann, Christiane: „Cultural contact between the Western Baltic and the North Sea – the evidence of the comb with runic inscription from the emporium reric“.

Activities 2013: Gaby Waxenberger and Kerstin Kazzazi were invited by the work group to participate in the preparation of a conference with the title Across the North Sea. North Sea Connections from AD 400 into the Viking Age. Second Interdisciplinary Symposium on Runes and Related topics in Frisia (June 2014), hosted by the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden. The conceptual planning for this conference took place in 2013. 

Activities 2012: The first meeting of the work group took place in January 2012 in Leeuwarden on invitation by T. Looijenga. 


Runes, Monuments and Memorial Carvings

The network Runes, Monuments and Memorial Carvings (RMMC) founded in 2011, aims at bringing together young researchers from the fields of history, art history, archaeology, Mediaeval Studies, religious history, historical linguistics and runology and thereby strengthening interdisciplinary co-operation. A special focus of the network are Viking Age and early Mediaeval worked stone monuments in Scandinavia, Ireland, and the British Isles. Apart from the support of the international dialogue the network also sees itself as a platform for the joint design of interdisciplinary research projects. Currently more than 60 scholars from 13 different countries (including Sweden, Norway, Denmark, England, Scotland, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the US) are members of the network.

Members of the network RMMC from the project group RuneS are: 
Kerstin Kazzazi (Eichstätt-München)
Jana Krüger (Kiel)
Sigmund Oehrl (Göttingen)
Gaby Waxenberger (Eichstätt-München)
Christiane Zimmermann (Kiel)

Activities 2011: The international research network „Runes, Monuments and Memorial Carvings (RMMC)“ dedicated its first workshop to four central themes of the use of worked stone monuments in the Viking Age and the early Middle Ages: 1. The creation and public character of these monuments, 2. the text elements and the iconographical language, 3. the archaeological context and 4. the social functions. 
For more details see the report on the network’s webpages:
RMMC Workshop Uppsala 2011The use of carved stone monuments in Scandinavia and the Insular area (Uppsala 1–2 September 2011)

Papers given by members of the project group RuneS were:

Kazzazi,, Kerstin: „The Academy Project “Runic Writing in the Germanic Languages (RuneS)” and the Old English Runic Corpus“.

Waxenberger, Gaby: „Old English Runic Stone Monuments in England“.


Co-operation with the Catholic University of America

In the context of a co-operation between the Center for Byzantine and Medieval Studies der Catholic University of America, Washington D.C. (Director: Dr. Lilla Kopár) and the Zentrum für Mittelalter und Renaissance der LMU an agreement was also made for an active co-operation between RuneS (Gaby Waxenberger, Kerstin Kazzazi) and the CUA (Lilla Kopár). 

Activities 2013: Within the framework of the co-operation with Dr. Kopár, her doctoral student Beth Newman Ooi did a one-month internship at the RuneS research unit Eichstätt-München. The internship was approved by the Academy Göttingen and officially processed by the Zentrale Auslandsvermittlung of the Bundesagentur für Arbeit; administrative support was provided by the International Office at the Catholic University of Eichstätt (Marianne Schönmüller).  

Activities 2012: Visit by Gaby Waxenberger from 19–27 September 2012 at the CUA, Washington D.C., first Workshop Old English Runes and Runology and first plans for a student exchange programme in co-operation with the RuneS research unit Eichstätt-München.



EuroTales (Prof. Dr. Nadia Cannata, University La Sapienza, Rom)

This project documents, preserves and disseminates knowledge about linguistic aspects of Europe's shared inheritance, past and present. Languages leave a memory as traces in objects and resonances in people.

Inscriptions, graffiti, speaking objects, place names, oral traditions, songs, all preserve traces of language and as such, constitute the linguistic dimension of material culture and geographic space. Each individual's linguistic biography is punctuated by the languages that resonate inside him, including mother tongues, languages of use and of culture, acquired languages, languages of artistic production. The emerging knowledge base aims to:

  1. reveal the archaeological stratification of languages, objects and people to better illustrate the ways in which languages shape the linguistic culture of territories,
  2. invite interrogation of oral and written language together, allowing a better insight into orality, past and present, and
  3. enhance our understanding of the bond between tangible and intangible cultural heritage through comparative analysis of the different ways in which language clings to material culture across space.

RuneS (research unit Eichstätt-München) chooses the (Pre-)Old English and (Pre-)Old Frisian inscriptions that should be part of the knowledge base and provides the data necessary (e.g., find spot and find circumstances; transliteration, interpretation, translation of the inscription; its language, etc.) for the individual inscriptions.



Alteritas: Self-Learning Atlas of Ancient European Cultures (Dr. Simona Marchesini)

ALTERITAS – interaction between peoples, founded in Verona in 2009, today is a recognised private research institution, investigating the forms of contact and exchange between cultures and peoples of different origins, languages, cultures and traditions past and present. Thanks to a network of more than 50 scholars from different disciplines and cooperation with various research institutions, universities and individual experts from different disciplines, Alteritas carries out research projects characterised by a broad range of topics and scientific approaches in the social sciences and humanities. Apart from the co-ordination of individual research projects, Alteritas organises conferences, symposia and interdisciplinary day events on specific topics, as well as publishing and presenting scientific books. 

RuneS (research unit Eichstätt-München) takes part in digital work meetings at irregular intervals on general epigraphic topics (e.g., methodology, context, transliteration principles).



The SELECT project aims at improving the study of Antiquity and geography through a multi-disciplinary, multi-layered, interactive and user-friendly tool for self-study of the cultures of Pre-Roman Europe. The resulting ATLAS will provide European citizens with a comprehensive overview over the oldest culture in Europe, presented in a map, an effective visual tool for getting to know the past.

SELECT also references to RuneS and the RuneS database as the period of runic writing includes the period succeeding Antiquity. This way the ATLAS-user will learn about RuneS and the RuneS database.


Scaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Within the comprehensive Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages the sixth volume will contain an edition of all poetry written in runes. The volume is edited by Edith Marold, Vivian Busch and Jana Krüger.