Kongssteinen og navnet Stavanger
This article present a new and somewhat daring interpretation of the name Stavanger. Previous discussions have revolved around from which topographical elements the name originates. The suffix ON angr, fjord, predates the Viking Age. ON stafr, standing staff became early an appellative for boundary markers. The King’s stone (Kongssteinen) was a remarkable boulder, at least 5.6 meters high and 6.2–7.5 meters wide. In the 4th century, the nearby land was cleared for farming and the boulder became clearly visible from the fjord. The King’s stone was one of several hoarstones for an ancient farm, Eiganes, – the parent farm of the town. It balanced on the top of a low mountain ridge (29 MASL) above the medieval town. It is discussed whether this boundary marker gave name to the fjord Stavanger, which in the 10th century also became the name of the town.
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