|Image from Wikipedia|
The Vang Stone is a Runestone located in the central part of southern Norway. Although its runic inscription follows a fairly standard wording – someone has erected the stone in honor or memory of someone else – I am not sure if the stone was erected for the carvers' nephew or cousin. In my research, I found both. The actual wording is interpreted as: Gasa's sons erected (cut or carved) this stone in memory of Gunnar, their nephew/cousin. But, this is only one aspect of the Vang Stone.
|Vang Stone inscription|
Changing location. The Vang Stone was erected right around the time of the conversion to Christianity in Scandinavia (around the year 1000) and located originally near a stave church; and there it sat for more than 800 years. When the stave church was taken apart and reassembled in Germany in 1844, the Vang Stone was also moved to the Vang Church and it still resides there.
Geographic location. On a larger scale, the Vang Stone lies just to the north of the Ringerike District of Norway, the area which is responsible for the ornate carving style on the Vang Stone's face, called the Ringerike style. The design is topped off by a stylized lion with two small shells at the bottom. In between are gently-curved swirls that crisscross in the middle. The top part of the crisscross appears a bit more symmetrical, though not entirely, than the lower portion.
Vang Stone image.) The location of the Runes on the stone is quite intriguing to me. I can't help but wonder if carving them on the side was an intentional piece of the stone design so as not to take away from the carving on the front or if Gasa's sons simply forgot to leave space, so had no choice but to cut the Runes along the stone's side.
The Vang Stone is a good example of the importance of location, location, location.