The goal of this work is to classify the types of the “lock” element and its functions in the ornaments of the Uppland runestones. The lock is a natural (in a picture of a snake) or an artificial element of the ornament connecting the opposite ends of the snake, on which the runic inscription is located.

In the course of the preliminary study we detected the main elements of runestone ornament: wide snake on which the inscription is located; narrow snake(s) without any runes on; crosses of all shapes, types and sizes. The head and the tail of the wide snake, on which the runes are carved, are usually connected. This connection is always depicted and emphasized by an additional element (the lock).

We studied one hundred “locks” found on runestones in Uppland (photo archive christerhamp.se) according to several parameters: their position of in the whole picture, type of the connection/crossing, the position of the lock according to the central picture.

As a result we detected several types of connection. Some conclusions on the positioning of the inscription and its relation to all the other elements of the monument were drawn.