Maeshowe: The Application of RTI to Norse Runes

Nicole Smith, Nela Scholma-Mason, Julian D Richards, Gareth Beale, 2018

Data copyright © Nicole Smith unless otherwise stated


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Nicole Smith
Department of Archaeology
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https://doi.org/10.5284/1050103
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Nicole Smith, Nela Scholma-Mason, Julian D Richards, Gareth Beale (2018) Maeshowe: The Application of RTI to Norse Runes [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1050103

Introduction

Maeshowe: The Application of RTI to Norse Runes

The chambered cairn and passage grave at Maeshowe is well known for its runic inscriptions. Since its construction around 2800 BC (Renfrew 1979: 203), the site has had a long history of re-use and disturbance (Davidson & Henshall 1989: 61-2, 145). The presence of several runic inscriptions in the main chamber and the SE side-chamber indicates later Norse re-use, probably during the mid-12th century (Barnes 1994: 215). The ease with which these can be made out varies and some are now very difficult to see with the naked eye.

Our work set out to examine how far Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) could reveal the sequence of overlapping carvings, in order to help recognise runes that are difficult to see with the naked eye or indeed with a camera and raking light flash. This study examines the materiality of the Maeshowe runes.

The content of each RTI and its location within the cairn is described in the body of the accompanying Internet Archaeology paper:

Smith, N. et al. (2018) Maeshowe: The Application of RTI to Norse Runes (Data Paper). Internet Archaeology, (47). https://doi.org/10.11141/ia.47.8.