Jonas Lau Markussen

Profile 4

In the same series:


The Runestone Styles


The Styles


The Stones




Pr 4


c. 1070 – 1100




Characterisation of the style

As defined by Anne-Sofie Gräslund



Overall impression

Elegant and graceful through the elongated sweeping bow lines. Straight lines almost never occur. Pr 4 introduces the feeling of classical Urnes style.



Strongly elongated, often softly bent and with a pronounced step down in the line from head to neck.



Elongated, almond-shaped, very large in proportion to the head, almost filling up the head and following its outline. Parallelism between the line of the head and that of the eye was obviously desirable. However, in a few cases, the Pr 4 head lacks an eye.



Very low set and markedly bent backwards, sometimes in the shape of a slightly bent, pointed flap. Neck crests occur frequently, often long and thin in big loops, sometimes transformed into figure-of-eight shapes.



Normally closed. The lower lip is short and straight, ending in a slight roll downwards, corresponding to the lip lappet. The nose tip is straight or only slightly rolled up, lip lappet only downwards.



Set at the end of long, angulated legs with a distinct hock, normally rather tight with two straight toes and a rounded spur. The angle between leg and foot has the form of a hook.



The roll is not symmetrical but consists of a large thick circle and a thin tail, sometimes split up with a downward tendril elongated into an elegant loop. The tail often has a hock typical for the Urnes style. The rune animal ends either in a rolled up tail or in a foot.


Additional snakes

Frequent in large, loose loops, often figure-of-eight shaped.



Generally, one rune animal along the edge with over-crossing. Angles or knees occur in the lower part of the carving where head piece and tail piece meet. Figure-of-eight-shaped layout is common, sometimes with an extra loop added to the side at the bottom.


Union Knot










Danske Runeindskrifter,

Gräslund, Anne-Sofie, 2006. ‘Dating the Swedish Viking-Age rune stones on stylistic grounds’. Runes and their Secrets – Studies in runology.

The Scandinavian Runic-text Data Base.

Sveriges runinskrifter.



Examples of Runestones in Pr 4

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