The Uthark

The late Sigurd Agrell, professor at Lund University, demonstrated several decades ago that each rune apart from a sound value most probably also has a numerical value. His theory is known as the Uthark theory, since it is based upon a removal of the Fé rune from the first position in the Futhark. The Fé rune is instead inserted as the last rune, and so all runes are shifted one step. There exist however some slightly different versions of the Futhark, and Sigurd Agrell was not completely sure of which one to use for his theory. Maybe the different versions were used in different areas. A comparison of the Kylver and Vadstena Futharks shows that they disagree on the order of runes in two instances: In the Vadstena Futhark the positions of the Eihwaz and Pertho runes have been switched as compared to Kylver. Likewise the positions of the Dagaz and Othila runes seem to have been switched. Alternatively the Dagaz rune has been completely omitted in the Vadstena Futhark. It is however said that it has been lost behind a suspension loop. In any case the Kylver Futhark is the most complete ancient inscription of the Futhark that we know. It is therefore natural to base a reconstruction of the Uthark on the Kylver Futhark. The Uthark obtained from the Kylver inscription is shown in the table below. That this Uthark is correct at least for the most ancient Blekinge inscriptions has been most emphatically demonstrated. The gematria obtained by summing up the numerical values of the runes contained in those inscriptions, using the Kylver based Uthark, is extraordinary. In most cases one gets sums that are divisible by seven as has been demonstrated for the Björketorp, Flegehall, Gummarp, Istaby, Stentoften, Sölvesborg, Tjurkö 1, Tjurkö 2 and Färlöv inscriptions, as well as for the Möjbro inscription in Uppland. For the Järsberg inscription, however, the Vadstena futhark appears to be more relevant.