Viking Picture Stones Explained (Part 2 of 2)

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Viking Picture Stones Explained (Part 2 of 2)

In the previous blog post, we have taken a look at the Andre Image Stones and the Tjangvide Picture Stone (See Part 1). In this blog post, we are to discuss three other Viking picture stones. All of these picture stones were created not only to preserve the pride of the Vikings upon their belief but also to give the next generation with the valuable legacy. 

Stora Hammers Stones

Stora Hammers stones consist of four stones stationed in Stora Hammers, Gotland, Sweden. The Stora Hammers II and IV are so worn out that scholars cannot be sure what the stones tried to convey. 

Stora Hammers Stone I

Image of Viking picture stone Stora hammers stone

Stora Hammers Stone I

The Stora Hammers Stone I has six parts. We might find a little bit hard to figure out what the top part meant, to be honest. The second part from the top depicts a riderless horse with warriors holding their sword upside down. The position of the sword was not quite hostile. But why sword? The artist(s) might have been highlighting the social and the ruling power of these people. To the Vikings, swords held a very important role in their life. Anyone who could possess a sword was a great honor. 

Image of Viking Stone Pictures Explained

Upside down sword and the sacrifice scene

The third part depicting the sacrifice scene with the Valknut symbol. This sacrifice is believed to offer to Odin the Viking Supreme God. 

Below the sacrifice scene was the part illustrating the legend of Hildr. Hildr, the daughter of Hǫgni, was kidnapped by a prince known as Heðinn on the day her father was away. As Hǫgni finally found out the island where his daughter was, he came and tried to retrieve her back. The battle continued after days and days. Many died but Hildr resurrected them and the battle only ended when Ragnarok took place. 

The lower parts of the stone depict the battle scene and the Viking longship with a very wide sail. 

Stora Hammers Stone III

The Stora Hammers Stone III has four parts, the lowest depicting the Viking longship with the warriors. There is a panel that illustrates the famous tale of Odin and the Mead of Poetry. Odin once shapeshifted himself into an eagle after drinking the Mead of Poetry and flew back to Asgard the land of Gods. Another part of the stone might have depicted the Valkyrie welcoming Odin back to his hall. Odin was probably riding on his Sleipnir horse. 

Image of Odin and Mead of Poetry in Viking picture stone explained

Mead of Poetry illustration

Tängelgårda Stone

This stone image was found at Tängelgårda, Gotland, Sweden. The Tangelgard image stone is also an interesting figure to take a look at. 

The upper parts of the stone depicted the riderless horse and the warriors holding their swords upside down. This manner is explained above in the Stora Hammers Stone I. 

Image of Viking picture stone explained

The upper parts of Tängelgårda image stone

The middle part of the stone depicts a man riding on his horse holding a cyclic thing (ring maybe) above his head and there were men following this man with the deed of holding the rings. The Valknut symbols above the horse might have pointed out that the rider was Odin the Allfather because Valknut was the symbol of Odin. The lowest part, again, is the illustration of the Viking longship with the wide sail and warriors. 

Stenkyrka Lillbjärs III

The detailed information about this picture stone still remains quite unclear. But we can easily see that this Stenkyrka Lillbjars had the same motif with other Viking picture stones. 

Image of Viking Picture Stone Explained

Stenkyrka Lillbjärs III

We might observe a quite similar scene of greeting in the top panel of this picture. Odin was riding on his Sleipnir horse and a Valkyrie a female helping spirit was greeting Odin by holding a drinking horn. Why can we be sure that this figure is Odin? Take a look above Odin. There are two Odin's symbols: the Valknut (left) and the Triple Horn (right). 

The motif of Viking picture stone happens in this Stenkyrka Lillbjars, too. It is the Viking longship with the sail that was as wide as the ship. 

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