TWEE RECENTE RUNENVONDSTEN UIT NEDERLAND - MET WELLICHT EEN FRANKISCHE CONNECTIE
It is extremely rare for runes to turn up in the Netherlands south of the terp area of Friesland and Groningen. However, two runic objects are found outside that area, and both have a Frankish/Merovingian context. After their places of discovery, the finds are called Borgharen and Bergakker. The find at Bergakker dates from the early 5th century and can be regarded as the oldest known Frankish runic object. Bergakker lies in the Maas estuary. About 100 kms up-river, near Maastricht, lies the village of Borgharen. Here another runic object was found, which dates from the late 5th century. The Bergakker and Borgharenfinds are in themselves not sufficient proof for the existence of a runic tradition in the Rhine and Maas estuaries. But they once again emphasize the possibility of an existence of runic knowledge among the Franks living in the downstream area of those two rivers. Other runic finds which may have a Frankish/Merovingian connection come from Arlon and Chéhéry (both Ardennes) in Belgium, and from Charnay (Burgundy) in France, whereas several dozen more are known from the German Rhineland and Alamannia. There might be evidence for the existence of a Merovingian runic tradition, when the evidence from Belgium, France and the Rhineland in Germany is also taken info account. The Borgharen and Bergakker finds may be regarded as stepping stones, linking the runic regions of the Ardennes (Belgica I), and the Maas/Rhine delta with the Rhineland (Germania l and II) and Alamannia.