• Denmark's news in English
After 250 years, ‘lost’ rune stone found at Dane's home
Experts were able to match the runes to a 1767 drawing. Photo: Lisbeth Imer, National Museum of Denmark

After 250 years, ‘lost’ rune stone found at Dane's home

The Local · 18 Mar 2016, 12:07

Published: 18 Mar 2016 12:07 GMT+01:00

Researchers had long since given up hope of ever recovering the lost Viking artefact when a farmer contacted Museum Thy in November to say that he had a large stone with some stripes on it in his back yard that he thought experts might want to see. 
The museum’s archaeologist Charlotte Boje Andersen and runologist Lisbeth Imer from the National Museum visited the farmer this week and were absolutely shocked by what they found. 
“It was one of the biggest moments in my time as an archaeologists and a completely one-of-a-kind discovery that highlights how important Thy and the western part of the Limfjord were in the Viking era,” she said. 
The farmer, Ole Kappel, said he bought farmland some 25 years ago and had the farm torn down. Amidst the ruins was a large pile of stones that he took to his own home. Among the pile was a fragment of a rune stone last seen in 1767, when it had been recreated in a drawing.

The 1767 drawing with the three found fragments highlighted. Photo: National Museum of Denmark
Imer compared the drawing to the fragment and concluded that it was indeed the so-called Ybdy stone based on the runes inscribed in its side. 
The drawings showed that the stone had a runic text that read: “Troels and Leve’s sons sat together on this stone after Leve”. On the fragment, Imer could read the name ‘Þorgisl’, which was Old Norse for ‘Troels’. 
“Unfortunately the top of the stone is missing, but when I compare it to the drawing from 1767 there isn’t much doubt that we are talking about a fragment from the same stone,” she said. 
While Andersen and Imer were thrilled with the fragment, Kappel remembered that he had used some of the rock piles in a terrace in the front of his house. When the trio went to take a look, they could see that two stones looked similar in shape to the rune stone fragment. They dug it up and once again had a pleasant surprise. 
“On one of them we managed to find the top of the runes that were missing from the fragment from the back yard. And on the third stone there was a trace of the runes ‘nsi’, which can be found on the drawings,” Imer said. 
Story continues below…
Anders and Christian Kappel helped remove another fragment of the Ydby stone that was used in the house's terrace. Photo: Lisbeth Imer Nationalmuseet
Anders and Christian Kappel helped remove another fragment of the Ydby stone that was used in the house's terrace. Photo: Lisbeth Imer, National Museum of Denmark
She believes that the rune stone was broken up into at least eight pieces and now nearly have of them have been found.
The three rune stone fragments will be displayed at Heltborg Museum through Easter before being transferred to the National Museum. The search for the other pieces will continue. 

For more news from Denmark, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
First service marks Battle of Jutland centenary
A memorial park to mark the world's largest naval battle that took place May 31, 1916 during World War will soon open in Denmark. Photo: Scanpix

Britain yesterday kicked off a week of commemorations marking one hundred years since the Battle of Jutland, the largest naval battle of World War I.

Border checks
First migrants make it from Denmark to Sweden on foot
The Øresund Bridge connects Copenhagen to Malmö. Photo: Colourbox

Dozens of attempts to cross the Øresund Bridge have been made, but this is the first successful crossing.

Seagulls 1, Aarhus 0
Aarhus's Hitchcockian nightmare will continue. Photo: Stefan W/Flickr

Officials in Denmark’s second city declared an all-out war on seagulls earlier this year. They lost.

Russia lashes out at ‘hostile’ Denmark
Russia's ambassador to Denmark, Mikhail Vanin. Photo: Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Kingdom of Denmark

Russia’s ambassador to Denmark accused the Danes of being “hostile” and “anti-Russian” in an interview published on Friday.

Danish MP cleared for 'bomb civilians' remark
Søren Espersen of the Danish People's Party. File photo: Keld Navntoft/Scanpix

Copenhagen Police have dropped proceedings against Danish People’s Party (DF) spokesperson Søren Espersen after he said that Denmark “should start” bombing civilians in Syria.

Denmark's biggest IPO to be windfall for Goldman Sachs
Dong's expected market value is up to 106.5 billion kroner. Photo: Claus Fisker/Scanpix

The Danish wind farm group Dong Energy is valued at up to $16 billion, leading to renewed debate about its partial sale to the US investment bank.

Aarhus blocks plans for grand mosque
Aarhus will not get a new mosque after all. Photo: Guillaume Baviere/Flickr

The sale of a plot of land for the construction of a grand mosque has been cancelled by Aarhus Municipality.

Denmark's waters are cleaner than ever
Danish beaches are cleaner than ever. Photo: Old Dane/ Wikipedia

Jump on in, the water's fine! In fact, it's cleaner than it's ever been.

Syrian refugees sue Denmark over long family wait time
File photo of the refugee tent camp in Thisted. Photo: Sara Gangsted/Scanpix

A group of five Syrians are suing Denmark and Immigration Minister Inger Støjberg over the three-year waiting period for family reunification imposed on refugees.

Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
Green card holder Mehvish Kiran said that her four children would not be able to adjust to life in Pakistan. Photo: Submitted

Thousands of green card holders are desperately trying convince politicians not to force them out of Denmark and say that a recently-granted extension to the scheme is a hollow victory.

Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
How Copenhagen achieved an ‘organic food revolution’
How Copenhagen achieved an ‘organic food revolution’
The second best destination in all of Europe is...
We are the champions! Denmark wins world badminton team title
After 100 years, British WW1 sailor identified in Denmark
After 100 years, British WW1 sailor identified in Denmark
Strangest political story in Denmark just got stranger
Keeping Denmark in Europol 'maybe impossible'
Analysis & Opinion
Green card holders tell Denmark to keep its promise
Denmark picks F-35 in historic jet purchase
Denmark to no longer define transgender as mental illness
Danish minister tells 'Sharia' troublemakers to 'get a job'
Danish 'martyr' exhibit reported to police
Denmark extends 'temporary' border measures for sixth time
Denmark nears final decision on controversial fighter jets
Muslim ‘girls only’ swimming sessions ripple Danish waters
Could Danes face a 'red meat tax' to help climate?
Denmark unable to process or issue visas
Denmark to go to war against Isis in Syria
Denmark to go to war against Isis in Syria
Business & Money
How Denmark’s national bank card is about to change
The best Danish bands you've (maybe) never heard of
Danes leaving the church in droves
Atheist campaign gets Danes to leave the church in droves
Four Isis ‘recruits’ arrested in Copenhagen
Four Isis ‘recruits’ arrested in Copenhagen
Business & Money
Unwrapping Denmark's first zero-packaging food store
jobs available