The Greece Runestones of Sweden

The Greece Runestones are about 30 runestones containing information related to voyages made by Norsemen to the Byzantine Empire. They were made during the Viking Age until about 1100  and were engraved in the Old Norse language with Scandinavian runes. All the stones have been found in modern-day Sweden and most of them were inscribed in memory of members of the Varangian Guard who did not make it home.

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Pre-Viking Decorated Strainer, 6th Century AD

A silver strainer, originally of Byzantine origin, stamped in the Viking era with opposed triangles to the outer face; bulb finial with openwork plaque, further later stamped pellets and lozenges, loop above; similar finial to the lower end with discoid extension and shallow bowl with five piercings, flange also stamped with bands of pellets, annulets, triangles and pelleted triangles.


Byzantine Marble Mosaic Panel, 5th-6th Century AD

Composed of tesserae, depicting a bull leaping over a long house, above a curved linear border, 105cm x 130cm approx.

This unusual mosaic probably once formed part of a larger hunting scene. Animal hunts were popular design choices for Roman mosaics, and showed dogs or large cats, such as leopards and lions, or even humans, pursuing bulls, stags and other prey. The house may be intended to signify the scale of the beast or to add a sense of dynamism.