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I cut these runes, may he read them who can. I make them binding . '; from the threatening, 'A holy thing must not be profaned. He who alters this inscription, let him be outlawed, a pervert, openly known to all the people' to the romantic, 'The priestess's mighty work. ' Despite the multiplicity and variety of existing suggestions Nielsen managed to add another. A case like this and it is not unique may lead the beginner to think that runology is nothing but inspired guesswork, or even simple guesswork.

Observations on . . a Runic Copper Dish found at Chertsey', Archaeologia 30(1844), 39-46. 4. The Chertsey bowl 'runes', from Stephens's Old-Northern Runic Monuments. only of the text. Many have come to grief through studying an inscription, perhaps in transliterated form, without taking note of what it was inscribed upon, what were the physical constraints upon the carver. On the other hand, archaeologists and art historians are usually ill-trained in linguistic method, and will concentrate their interest on the object inscribed, its design, purpose, materials, and the circumstance of its discovery.

Or where the relationship between inscribed object and text looks so suggestive as to give a strong clue as to meaning. But unless such conditions apply, our examination is liable to end in speculation. For many of the earliest Anglo-Saxon inscriptions, and even for some of the later, we can only speculate: as, for example, with the roedeer's astragalus (ankle-bone such bones were used as playing-pieces in some sort of board game) from a cremation urn at Caistor-by-Norwich, the Loveden Hill urn, the two small bits of gold from the foreshore near Selsey, the Ash or Gilton/Guilton (Kent) sword-hilt, the Dover brooch, the cattlebone dug up at Hamwih (Southampton), the bracteate from Welbeck Hill (Lincolnshire/South Humberside), the bronze pail from Chessell Down, the badly corroded tweezers from Heacham (Norfolk), the jet disc from Whitby (North Yorkshire) and the wooden spoon from York.

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