The location of the runic stones in the landscape is a key to the understanding of these monuments and their underlying meaning. By studying their location in the landscape in detail, it is possible to achieve a better understanding of the context where the stones textual messages were formulated. Often runic stones have been discussed in relation to roads, graves and borders in the landscape, as well as the building of bridges and their relationship to churches. Their importance in connection with the ruling classes of society is also well known. However, how runic stones were erected and perceived on a micro-level has more seldom been discussed. This is the purpose of our project, where we on a micro-level want to study and discuss why a runic stone was erected on a specific place, from what direction the text was intended to be seen and how it was perceived and understood in the contemporary society.
Runic stones that are believed to be standing in their original position have been selected for closer studies. In the area in question, Tiohärad in Småland, c. 25 runic stones is believed to still be standing in their original position in the landscape. An archaeological investigation as well as studies of historical maps has been made close to one of these, Sm 42 in Ryssby parish, in order to try to clarify the runic stones’ relation to its vicinity. Result implies that the stone is standing in its original position and that it not should be connected to any nearby settlement, but rather to an older road, a grave-field and possibly also the borders between some of the farms in the village. Apart from this example, landscape studies, mainly by the analysis of historical maps have also been made by a number of other runic stones. The results have given new insights into the location of runic stones in the landscape, which will be presented in this paper.