Practice Theory and Runic Artefacts: New Interpretations of Two Runic Amulets from the Orkney Islands

Ragnhild Ljosland, Carly McArthur

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract

This article applies practice theory to shed light on Viking Age and Medieval runic amulets, focusing particularly on two examples from the Orkney Islands, Scotland (OR 21, OR 22). It will demonstrate that although the runic text on these two artefacts has in neither case been securely interpreted, practice theory can nonetheless reveal insights into the meaning these objects held for those who produced, used, and deposited them, why they were made in a certain way, and ended up in the places where they were found. Studying these objects in light of Practice Theory also offers insight into Orkney’s integration with the Viking Age and Medieval cultures of Europe, revealing cultural contact beyond its motherland, Norway. The article also demonstrates the usefulness of Practice Theory when applied to runic artefacts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRunrön
Place of PublicationUppsala
Volume26
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 26 Mar 2024

Publication series

NameRunrön
PublisherUppsala University Press

Keywords

  • Runology
  • Runes
  • Middle Ages
  • Epigraphy
  • Beliefs

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