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Runic Inscriptions

18 19 Kept in the possession of the Museum of Antiquities in NewcastleuponTyne this oddly shaped memorial stone was found three feet below the ground at Hawkhope hill near the village of Falstone in old Northumberland. On the face of the stone are two inscriptions, one in Roman characters and the other in AngloSaxon runes reflecting the biliteracy of the time and the magical connection between the runes and the afterlife. Both sections record the same Old English memorial passage, Eo set up a monument after Hroethberht his uncle pray for his soul, dating the piece to the eighth century. This fragment is constructed in the same style as the metal houseshaped book shrines known in Ireland around the same time. The stone measures twelve and a half inches long, seven inches wide and six inches high. Many AngloSaxon rune memorials follow a similar layout in their wording and this example was a common commemorative formula. It seems that most of the runestones of this era were memorials or gravestones erected for wealthy patrons, as this memorial probably was. the FAlstone stone pray for his soul
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