Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Glavendrup Part I - Viking Stone Ship. Ragnhild; Commemorative Stones

Glavendrup Part I.  

Glavendrup is an archelogical monument north of Odense, a little west of Otterup. It is a fine Viking era stone ship and rune stone, back in the woods.  There is also a less apparent barrow, or burial mound.  It was constructed by one Ragnhild, for her husband, Alle. See more of Ragnhild at Glavendrup Part II.

The symbol with the four-square loops means an attraction or monument. Follow them and hope.

The stone ship and stone date from the 10th Century and looks interesting. This is off the usual track, but surely worth a country drive. Remote, one lane road, if everything is gone when you get back, or the Beast slips up the path after you, life is tough.

The barrow burial in Scandinavia: Put the body in a circular depression, on stones, and cremate it.  Cover the remains with more stones, and layers of turf, to make a tumulus. A hill-size tumulus may have an opening (later opened?), others have no visible entry place. In other countries where barrow burials were common, the body was buried under the tumulus without burning, but the Scandinavian countries followed Odin (Odin: Sweden, Scandinavian Origins of a People real person in a real migration, a Sigge Fridulfson or some such who took the name Odin, or a deity manifest, or both?).

Trust the fates, leave your car hanging out there, and head up the long path with no end in sight

The crematory burials: fair use of a snippet of the Ynglinga Saga, Norse oral histories and stories written down finally by one Snorri Sturulson, poet from Iceland, in 1255.  This Heimskringla part relates the tales of the ancient Norse kings and their accomplishments, see the section numbered 8 --

"Odin established the same law in his land that had been in force in Asaland. Thus he established by law that all dead men should be burned, and their belongings laid with them upon the pile, and the ashes be cast into the sea or buried in the earth. Thus, said he, every one will come to Valhalla with the riches he had with him upon the pile; and he would also enjoy whatever he himself had buried in the earth. For men of consequence a mound should be raised to their memory, and for all other warriors who had been distinguished for manhood a standing stone; which custom remained long after Odin's time."

Ragnhild. It was Ragnhild who erected the runestone at the head of the ship, and added a curse at the end. See http://www.vikingdenmark.com/glavendrup-stone-ship-runic-stone-funen-denmark.html

Ragnhild.  A Viking lady of means and drive. She erected another rune stone for another husband, Ganulf; and that one is said to be in the museum in  Copenhagen, see the vikingdenmark site.

A stone ship is standing stones erected in the shape of a ship, with a memorial marker usually to one side.  It is not always an actual burial site.  See the plan. It is clear by the ages of the components that the grave is not that of the person memorialized by the runestone at the left, but a far older barrow grave is there, Bronze Age, on the plan to the right. A little hard to follow. The rune stone here should be placed more to the left, to be in its original location; without that particular mound in front of it. The site has been  "improved".

The setting was discovered in 1794, and saved from a recycling stone mason in 1808.

Where is the tumulus for the Bronze Age barrow burial?

On to the Rune Stone:  three views, same stone.

The text on the rune stone:

The text is the longest on any Danish rune stone, 210 characters, and reads:

"Ragnhild placed this stone in memory of Alle, priest of the Soelve, honorable clan chieftain. Alle's sons made these runes after their father and his wife after her husband. And Sote carved these runes in memory of his master. Thor hallow these runes.  To a 'something you do not want to become ' become he who uses violence on this stone or drags it away to stand in memory of somebody else."

Spend time with the individual stones.

To the fey among us, it soon appears that they are conversing, watching.  An imagination is a good thing.

Our numbering of stones is arbitrary and for our own identification, and not based on placement. Start with the one with the eye.

Move on to the puzzled stone.

There is an integrated cluster of listeners. And, for the curious, Denmark is very much an integrated country and addressing the same kinds of immigration-assimilation-ethnic identity issues as any other country in transition to a global-people world.

This side looks too artificially lined up.

The bare minerals blush stone. Are those drilled impressions, or just lichen?

Are those drilled impressions? These are in a line, part of an original drill pattern to split off this from a larger stone, or with meaning of their own.

Circular impressions.

The three circular areas on the stone look intentional.  Part of a splitting off process from a larger stone?  Or is there a resemblance related to the three circular areas (with dots in the middle) in patterns also on this representation of a Viking man's head.  This head in the pointy helmet is shown on the Glavendrupexhibit there. 

There are three more circular areas with a dot in the center, along the browline of the helmet, and possibly more.  Shield representations? Rank?  The Vikings had a "vibrant culture" of their own, so no element should be ignored as meaningless. See http://britishbattles.homestead.com/files/europe/baltic/denmark/danskhistoria.htm. 

 Their symbols, then, had meaning - as to these, what?  
  • Small linear symbol.  The linear symbol to the right with the radiating lines like legs at each end could be an element of a runic charm, an Aegishjalmur simplified, for a "helm of awe", or a Vegvisir for runic compass, both using this element Algiz or Elhaz (all this from a totally reliable scholarly site, for tattoos, at http://www.sunnyway.com/runes/tattoos.html). 
  • Circle with dot.  Here it is!  A circle with a dot in the center is a circumpunct, see Symbols and their Meaning at http://www.crossroad.to/Books/symbols1.html.  This is widespread among ancient and contemporary cultures:  the sun as in Ra in Egypt; gold in alchemy; archangel Kabbalah; "emotional restraint" in Freemasonry; creative spark, divine consciousness, astrology; dot as male and circle as female in Hindu and Buddhist traditions.
  • What we know:  Alle was a priest, see Glavendrup Part II; so the symbols on the exhibit helmet might well signify the divine consciousness idea, and on we go. Or that he went on voyages and that is part of the compass.


So what is the drill hole in our numbering, Stone #17? 

Researching Ragnhild herself, the one who erected this stone ship for her husband, Alle, we came up with new information:  she erected a second rune stone for a second husband, called Tryggevaelde, and that one is in the Copenhagen Museum, and that also has an unexplained drill hole.  See http://denmarkroadways.blogspot.com/2011/07/glavendrup-tryggevaelde-rune-stones.html

We found a second stone with a hole at Glavendrup - and there are perhaps more that we missed.  These holes are not on the main rune stone, however; so the Tryggevaelde stone is unique in that regard.

A stone left without full re-upping.  This one looks restful, not as forced at attention as the others.

The area was in a field when first noted as something to be preserved; not in the woods.

II.  Contemporary Uses

The area is used by other groups, and our understanding is that this second artificial stone ship shape area is a recent construction, in order to preserve the original area from damage.

Second and artificial stone ship arrangement, for civic and other groupvceremonies, Glavendrup Denmark; later construction

1.  Ansgar Stone, modern.

Ansgar was an early missionary, known as the Northern Apostle.  The Biographicon site, http://www.biographicon.com/view/o5t2n, is good for neutral life stories, acknowledging what is verifiable, and what is tradition.

This is a 1100-year memorial to Ansgar, erected in 1926.

Heart symbolism:

Note the little heart shape in the center, with a cross top above.  The heart symbol in Scandinavia means a number of things, including energy and courage -- take heart, etc -- as well as other meanings and uses of heart, some purely speculative.  The heart here is not only courage, but heart-heart. Ansgar kept at it despite great and frequent setbacks, and practised charity - another meaning for heart - see http://www.symbols.com/encyclopedia/20/2018.html

There are several non-Viking inscriptions on various stones, later uses, ceremonies, modern civic occasions.

2.  Stone Commemorating the Reformation 1536.

This stone, erected in 1936, appears to commemorate the 400th Anniversary of the arrival of the Reformation to Denmark.  I cannot read the Danish words, but looked up the date. See the account at the History of Denmark at http://www.worldrover.com/history/denmark_history.html

Old ways.  Standing stones to memorialize important events and people.

Have a seat a while, rest up.  Petrified penguin behind. Is that so?

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