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The Caistor-by-Norwich astralagus
is a roe deer
The European Roe Deer , also known as the Western Roe Deer, chevreuil or just Roe Deer, is a Eurasian species of deer. It is relatively small, reddish and grey-brown, and well-adapted to cold environments. Roe Deer are widespread in Western Europe, from the Mediterranean to Scandinavia, and from...
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found in an urn at Caistor St. Edmund
Caistor St Edmund is a village on the River Tas, near Norwich, Norfolk, England. It covers an area of and had a population of 270 in 116 households at the 2001 census....
Norfolk is a low-lying county in the East of England. It has borders with Lincolnshire to the west, Cambridgeshire to the west and southwest and Suffolk to the south. Its northern and eastern boundaries are the North Sea coast and to the north-west the county is bordered by The Wash. The county...
, England. The astralagus is inscribed with a 5th-century Elder Futhark
The Elder Futhark is the oldest form of the runic alphabet, used by Germanic tribes for Northwest Germanic and Migration period Germanic dialects of the 2nd to 8th centuries for inscriptions on artifacts such as jewellery, amulets, tools, weapons and runestones...
"roe". The inscription is the earliest found in England, and predates the evolution of the specifically Anglo-Frisian Futhorc and may be a Scandinavian import, perhaps brought from Denmark in the earliest phase of the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain
The Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain was the invasion and migration of Germanic peoples from continental Europe to Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages, specifically the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons in Britain after the demise of Roman rule in the 5th century.The stimulus, progression and...
. It is an important testimony for the Eihwaz
Eiwaz or Eihaz was a Proto-Germanic word for "yew", and the reconstructed name of the rune ....
rune and the treatment of Proto-Germanic *ai
. The h
rune has the Nordic single-bar shape , not the Continental double-bar which was later adopted in the Anglo-Frisian runes.