Swedish small finds with runic inscription
The small Swedish finds with runic inscriptions mostly come from the 19th century and the coastal south of Sweden . New discoveries were made until the 1990s (Hedenstorp, Norra Gärdet). Problems arise from an inadequate research situation and from the poorer research status compared to Norway with regard to the early power structures. Swedish research lacks more comprehensive studies covering larger parts of the country. Meaningful studies are only available from sites (e.g. Adelsö, Uppsala, Uppåkra ).
Eight of the eleven small finds with runic inscriptions come from graves. There is also a moor find ( amulet from Lindholmen ), a reading find (Älgsjö) and a settlement find (Norra Gärdet). Of the finds from grave contexts, five come from cremation graves and only one from a body grave. This relation should be representative of the Nordic Iron Age . Mos and Rickeby are graves of men (addition of weapons). Älvesta, Etelhem and Gårdlösa are graves of women (added fibulae).
Of the eight objects that can be determined in time, seven can be assigned to the Nordic Iron Age and one to the Vendel period . For the grave finds there is evidence of a considerable gap between rich (e.g. Älvesta, Rickeby) and poor burials (Dragby). Probably the weaving weight of Norra Gärdet and the primer of Etelhem alone originate from an environment of the top management. The grave finds from Gårdlösa, Mos and Rickeby can be assigned to a tiered upper or middle class milieu. The men's graves at Mos and Rickeby can be classified as middle-ranking followers. In the case of Rickeby and the tombs of Vendel and Valsgärde , on the other hand, membership of the ruling class eludes archaeological evidence.