Digitally capturing Viking-era runestones on a small Danish island

Summary: An exciting project to digitally preserve onsite ancient Viking-era runestones on the island of Bornholm, Denmark. These stones dating back 800-1000 years are the written records of Scandinavia's first writers.

The Goal: To digitally capture these stones for future generations, and to closely study the rune writers' carving techniques, as well as identify individual carvers across various regions.

Tools Used: Artec Eva, Space Spider, Artec Studio

Learn how objects can be captured for heritage preservation using the Artec Space Spider and Eva 3D scanners and the latest version of Artec Studio 3D scanning software.  

This exciting project was initiated and overseen by Laila Kitzler Ahfeldt from the Swedish National Heritage Board. Laila and Artec 3D reseller Scan 3D innovations embarked on an amazing journey to digitally capture ancient runestones on the small Danish island of Bornholm. Located in the Baltic Sea, off the south coast of Sweden, this island has a wide variety of these remarkable historic relics in all shapes and sizes.

The runestones were scanned in high detail using Artec’s two most widely used 3D scanners. First, the stones were captured in 3D with the lightweight Eva, to get the overall dimensions and shape of the stones. Then, Space Spider was used to record the intricate details of the carvings in high resolution. Equipped with a portable battery pack, the scanning experts from Scan 3D innovations were able to scan the runestones directly onsite, both indoors and outdoors, and thanks to powerful Artec Studio software, the results were visible in real time and the 3D models were ready in soon after.

According to Laila, rune carvers were the first native writers of Scandinavia, and having digital replicas of the stones is an excellent way to study the ancient carving techniques and traditions. This will also make the process of identifying the individual carvers across regions and linking different stones to them much faster and easier.

The project was a real success, despite the unstable weather conditions and the very large sizes of some of the stones (over 2m tall!). The brilliant synergy of Artec Eva and Space Spider along with Artec Studio software proved to be a very effective way of digitizing these historic runestones and preserving Scandinavia’s heritage for centuries to come.