THE EMPEROR OF STONES
Archaeology|July/August 2020
THE EMPEROR OF STONES
In the language of the Vikings, Old Norse, rök means “monolith,” and no other runestone stands out from its peers in more ways than Sweden’s Rök.
DANIEL WEISS

The five-ton stone measures eight feet tall and its five sides are covered with the longest runic inscription in existence—some 760 runes divided into 28 lines. And, while the vast majority of runestones date to after the mid-tenth century a.d., the Rök was inscribed much earlier, around a.d. 800. “It’s the emperor of runestones,” says Henrik Williams, a runologist at Uppsala University. “Nothing can compare with it.”

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July/August 2020