Runic forgeries: Linking past and present identities?

Activity: Talk / Presentation / Podcast / WebinarOral presentation


This paper looks at modern runic inscriptions from Orkney and Caithness. It presents various examples, some of which were previously considered 'genuine' and reveals that inscription Or 13 from Skara Brae, previously displayed at the Orkney Museum, is of modern provenance. The terminology concerning 'runic forgeries' is examined and suggestions are presented of why there is such an abundance of recently carved inscriptions in this particular region? This will then lead to a discussion of identity expression, where the carving of modern runic inscriptions is understood as a way of interacting with Orkney and Caithness's past as a Norse Earldom.
Period16 Sept 2017
Event titleUHI Archaeology Conference 2017: Our Islands, Our Past
Event typeConference
LocationKirkwall, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Runes
  • Orkney
  • Medieval
  • Modern period
  • Graffiti