The Picture Stones of Gotland: Type C and D Stones as Death Memorials



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This thesis focuses on the picture stones of Gotland, Sweden dating to the Viking Age. The Viking Age picture stones are made up of two groups, C and D, as delineated by Sune Lindqvist, dating to 700-1000 AD. Utilizing a basic hypothesis by Björn Varenius, which was applied to Early Iron Age picture stones, a research plan was created and applied to the stones of the Viking Age. An iconographic analysis was performed on six well-known stones found in the Gotland Museum and Swedish National Antiquity Museum. This iconographic analysis used the frequency of individual images and a correlation of images appearing together to interpret the basic thematic meaning of the iconography. A landscape discussion and context analysis was done on three sites, Buttle Änge, Fröjel Stenstugu, and Visne ängar, which had in situ picture stones. The landscape discussion sought to find significant features which could be connected to the stones and interpreted. While the context analysis looked at the archaeological finds excavated from around the immediate vicinity of the stones, and what that proximity could mean based on its location. All three analyses came together to make a determination of what the picture stones of the Viking Age mean and what their purpose was.



Gotland, Viking Age, Picture stones, Death memorials, Visne angar