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Images and Artefacts of the Ancient World$
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Alan K. Bowman and Michael Brady

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780197262962

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197262962.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 16 October 2021

Interpretation of Ancient Runic Inscriptions by Laser Scanning

Interpretation of Ancient Runic Inscriptions by Laser Scanning

(p.35) Chapter 4 Interpretation of Ancient Runic Inscriptions by Laser Scanning
Images and Artefacts of the Ancient World

Jan O. H. Swantesson

Helmer Gustavson

British Academy

Traditionally, investigations of runic inscriptions have been conducted in the field by eye, and by feeling the outlines of the runes with fingers. Although photographs have been used to describe runes, they are typically of complementary use. This chapter looks at the interpretation of runic inscriptions through laser scanning. Laser scanning, compared to the old methods of determining runic inscriptions, is more accurate and more efficient. It is specifically important when the interpretation is unclear. This method records the height of surfaces in shades of grey only, hence eliminating disturbances caused by the different colours of the rock. The chapter also discusses how data derived from the measurements of laser scanning can be treated. It provides an account of the application of laser scanning in runic inscriptions in Scandinavia as well as methods that can be used when interpreting runic transcriptions with new techniques.

Keywords:   runic inscriptions, runes, laser scanning, techniques, height of surfaces, application of laser scanning, Scandinavia

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