World’s Oldest Runestone Found, Revealing Mysterious Message


| LAST UPDATE 01/23/2023

By Daria Appleby
Worlds Oldest Runestone Norway Mystery
JAVAD PARSA/NTB/AFP via Getty Images

In a recent discovery, Norwegian archeologists believe they might have unveiled the world's oldest runestone from almost 2,000 years ago. The runestone discovery, which had been inscribed, only revealed further information for the researchers, including the fact that this might be older than any previous discovery ever found. Here's a look.

A runestone is defined as a raised stone, like a bedrock, with a specific inscription written into its configuration. Traditions as such began in the 4th Century up until the 12th Century. However, they were most active throughout the late Viking Age. Famous biking runestone includes the Kjula Runestone in Södermanland, Sweden, which includes written indents that refer to warfare. Primarily, the runestones were known as the only alphabet called the Younger Futhark. Runestones have a vast history as well as context, so when it came down to the 30 by 30 square brown rock, there was a lot of attention put toward it.

Oldest Runestone Norway Mystery
DEA / M. SEEMELLER / Contributor via Getty Images
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The 12x12 inches of stone was found during the "excavation of an ancient burial ground in late 2021, at Tyrifjorden northwest of Oslo, ahead of construction on a railway line." The fact that bones and wood were found beside the rune gave insight into when it had been inscribed, estimating the engraving to have been done between year 1 and 250 CE. This discovery particularly sparks history that could date back to the time of Jesus Christ, "a dream for runologists, " according to Oslo Museum of Cultural History via LiveScience. Furthermore, runologist Kristel Zilmer told Norweigan news agency NTB, "We thought that the first ones in Norway and Sweden appeared in the years 300 or 400, but it turns out that some runestones could be even older than we previously believed." Besides the idea that runologists are prone to running these sorts of tests and unveiling mysteries, this finding was more rare and unique than they ever would have imagined.

While working in the industry, runologists can come across a variety of hidden texts and meanings, but this finding unlocked a new listing. After the writing was converted into the Latin alphabet, the unknown word "idiberug" emerged - referring to someone lying in the grave. Thankfully, this finding has been substantial enough to earn its way to go on display at t the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo from January 21 to February 26. Stay tuned for more breakthrough discoveries.

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