Rune Inscribed Rib (LCNCC : 1999.103.104)

Cow’s rib with runic inscription from St Benedict’s Square, Lincoln

Runes were used not only for monumental inscriptions, or to mark ownership of valuable objects, but also in more informal contexts. In this case the animal bone suggests an after-dinner pastime after a good meal in the Anglo-Scandinavian trading centre of Lincoln. The runes read ——l × hitir × stin × … Only two words of the Old Norse inscription can be read with certainty, and even so they are ambiguous. One possible interpretation is ‘[someone] is heating a stone’ the other is ‘[someone] is called Stein’. The bone is fragmentary, but the inscription may never have been intended to make much sense. The object dates from around the 10th century. It is one of only three runic inscriptions from the East Midlands.


Object Type



circa 900 — 1000

Ascribed Culture





Viking Objects

Current Location

The Collection, Lincoln, Lincolnshire


Anglo-Scandinavian, bone, Lincoln, Lincolnshire, runes, runic_inscription, The_Collection, Viking

Further information

You can see the original at The Collection, Lincoln, Lincolnshire.

This object is related to Lincoln, Lincolnshire.
Find out about Lincoln, Lincolnshire.


(c) Christer Hamp, 2011, courtesy of The Collection, Lincoln


The Collection, Lincoln, Lincolnshire