Archaeologists discovered the oldest known runestone in Norway on Tuesday.
According to the researchers, the writings on the runestone are up to 2,000 years old and can be traced back to the mysterious beginnings of runic script.
According to the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo, the flat, square block of brownish sandstone features carved scribbles that may be the first example of words written in writing in Scandinavia.
It claimed to be “the oldest datable runestone in the world” and “among the earliest runic inscriptions ever uncovered.”
“This discovery will teach us a lot about rune usage in the early Iron Age. The Associated Press was informed by Kristel Zilmer, a professor at the University of Oslo, which houses the museum, that this could be one of the first attempts to apply runes on stone in Norway and Scandinavia.
Older runes have been discovered on other objects but not on stone, and the first runic artifact was found on a bone comb in Denmark.
According to Zilmer, the runes may have been carved using a needle or knife tip.
The runestone was found during the excavation of a tomb at Tyrifjord, west of Oslo, in the fall of 2021.
This area is recognized for its significant archaeological finds. Burnt bones and charcoal found in the cremation pit show that the runes were probably written between A.D. 1 and 250.
She stated that the discovery was initially made public on Tuesday because “we needed time to evaluate and date the runestone.”
The stone’s dimensions are 31 by 32 centimeters (12.2 by 12.6 inches), and it features a variety of inscriptions that don’t all make grammatical sense.
The front of the stone has eight runes that spell out “idiberug,” which could be the name of a man, a woman, or a family.
The discovery, according to Zilmer, was “the most exciting thing I have ever had as an academic.”
The rock, known as the Svingerud stone after the location it was discovered, is still the subject of extensive research.
We will undoubtedly learn important information about the early development of runic writing, Zilmer predicted.
Beginning on January 21, the runestone will be displayed in the Museum of Cultural History, which houses Norway’s most extensive collection of historical items dating from the Stone Age to the present.
From antiquity until the adoption of the Latin alphabet, various Germanic alphabets used in northern Europe contained characters known as runes.
They have been discovered on multiple home items and stones.