Runic Spindle Whorl Recently Found In Orkney

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This article gives an account of a rune-inscribed bone spindle whorl, which was found by a member of the public in Orkney in January 2017. Presumably, it will be designated as OR 24. The circumstances of the find are briefly discussed, and the artefact described and depicted. Thereafter follows a transliteration and commentary on the reading, and an interpretation of the text, which seems to be a futhark inscription with some notable oddities.
Along with OR 24, the finder also handed in a quartzite pebble from the same site, decorated with a painted rune-like mark. The article discusses whether the painted mark is intended as a rune, and whether the artefact is Norse at all. The conclusion is that the painted mark is most probably not intended as a rune, and that the artefact is likely to be Pictish, not Norse.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-230
Number of pages15
JournalFuthark: International Journal of Runic Studies
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2020


  • Runes
  • Archaeology
  • Orkney


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