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A runestone being made by the modern runemaster Kalle Dahlberg.

A runemaster or runecarver is a term for a specialist in making runestones. More than 100 names of runemasters are known from Viking Age Sweden with most of them from 11th century eastern Svealand.[1] Many anonymous runestones have more or less securely been attributed to these runemasters.[1] During the 11th century, when most runestones were raised, there were a few professional runemasters. They and their apprentices were contracted to make runestones and when the work was finished, they sometimes signed the stone with the name of the runemaster.[2]

Most early medieval Scandinavians were probably literate in runes, and most people probably carved messages on pieces of bone and wood.[2] However, it was difficult to make runestones, and in order to master it one also needed to be a stonemason.[2]

Notable runemasters of the 11th to early 12th centuries include:

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 The article Runristare in Nationalencyklopedin (1995).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Vilka kunde rista runor? on the Swedish National Heritage Board website, retrieved January 13 2007.