Latest #vikingcarving Posts
- Old but gold!
Just found this picture I took while I was modelling the viking carvings for my viking cake project, I am in the mood of doing something like this again (scroll down on my profile to see the cake)
- Left side of the Urnes Stave Church portal, Sogn og Fjordane, Norway.
In the northern side of the nave of the 12th stave church at Urnes, you can find a magnificent portal, two planks and a corner stave incorporated in the walls, belonging to a previous structure, built sometime after 1070.
They depict interlaced, fighting animals, elegantly entwined among foliage, with exceptionally deep wood carvings.
Similar carvings cover the western gable triangle of the nave and the eastern gable of the choir. They date to the second half of the 11th century, which constitute the origin of the "Urnes style”, also found in other parts of Scandinavia and North-Western Europe.
The portal, which may originally have been the main portal of the church, depicts a snake-like creature being eaten by a four-footed animal, believed to be a stylised lion. Christian scholars assert that this is a battle between Satan and Christ (symbolised respectively by a snake and lion in Christian iconography), each representing the eternal fight between evil and good.
Norse mythologists claim that this decoration of the earlier church is a representation of Ragnarök, the end of the world, with the dragon Níðhöggr consuming the roots of the world tree, Yggdrasil. This would have been very familiar to those who were approaching this new religion.
The carvings are important both as outstanding artistic artefacts, and as a link between the pre-Christian Nordic culture and the Christianity of the medieval ages.
- Runestone U145, 1060-1100 AD, Pr4 (Urnes style). Fällbro, Uppland.
Runestones and runic inscriptions are scattered far and wide around Scandinavia, the British Isles, Iceland and even faraway locations, like the Hagia Sophia palace in Istanbul. Among all these findings, one place stands out for both the quantity and the quality of its carved stones: around Lake Vallentuna lies one of the biggest concentration of runestones in the world in a staggering pathway renamed Runriket, or ‘The Rune Kingdom’. These runestones and their inscriptions are just but the tip of the iceberg of a flourishing and very important area which was the one around Vallentunasjön, close to central hubs like Uppsala and later Sigtuna, as testified by the large number of Iron Age farms, alongside bridges built over marshes and burial mounds.
The majority of the runestones around lake Vallentuna commemorate the members of the family of Jarlabanke, one of Uppland’s leading Christian magnates. The stones approximately span four generations from Jarlabanke’s father and some of them, erected for the magnate himself, praise his soul for building a causeway across marshy grounds. Around Lake Vallentuna lived different families, probably linked to the main one, but at the same time expressing their ties and connections in a whirlwind of names and relations carved following the sweet lines of the Urnes Style.
We had the opportunity to travel far and wide around Vallentunasjön and, among the others, the less well-known and harder to find runestone U145 near the village of Fällbro caught our attention.
Fällbro is the site of three rune-inscribed boulders, as well as a runestone raised to commemorate Jarlabanke. Two of the boulders and the runestone refer to the construction of a bridge. The position of the two runic boulders show that today's road coincides largely with the ancient route, while the watercourse which then crossed the route between Fällbro and Hagby was probably considerably larger than the brook we see today. The three large burial grounds from the early Iron Age (500-1050BC) in Fällbro proves that there was already a large farmstead at this site during the Iron and Viking Age.
- Was feeling especially carvy today. Finished off a wood spoon (more or less), re-shafted a spearhead, and made a rough wooden sheath for my bearded axe. The sheath is loosely based on Birka and later medieval wooden sheath examples. In this case, it's basically a groove to house the blade, with notches at the ends to take the leather strings. If I get time I will finish it nicely, decorate and stain it.
#vikingreenactor #woodsheath #vikingcarving
- "Ærna mælir
sá er eva þegir
nema haldendr eigi
opt sér ógótt um gelr"
- Hávamál: Stanza 29
Gorgeous photo of viking carving by @thevikingqueen