Date:

Oldest known runestone found in Norway

Archaeologists from the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo have revealed the oldest known runestone in Norway.

Runes first started to appear during the 2nd century AD, through to the Viking Age and late Middle Ages. Runes were generally replaced by the Latin alphabet when Scandinavian people underwent Christianisation around AD 700 in central Europe and AD 1100 in northern Europe.

- Advertisement -

In Scandinavia, several thousand stones with runic inscriptions from the Viking Age have been preserved, with around 30 runestones found in Norway from the Iron Age. Early runic inscriptions arose in Scandinavia through contact with other cultures, a possible model being the Roman Latin alphabet

The discovery was made in 2021, when researchers were excavating an ancient burial ground near the Tyrifjorden lake in Norway. The results of the discovery have only now been revealed.

rune2a
Image Credit : Alexis Pantos/KHM, UiO

The site consists of flat graves and burial mounds, in which excavations of one of the burials revealed the remains of cremated human bones, charcoal, and the runestone.

An osteological study suggests that the deceased was an adult, while a carbon dating analysis of the organic remains has placed the age of the burial to AD 1-250 during the Iron Age.

- Advertisement -

The runestone is made from reddish-brown Ringeriks sandstone and has been named after the place of its discovery, Svingerudsteinen.

Carved into the stone are eight runes that have been interpreted to spell Idibera, or possibly Idiberug, Idibergu, Idiberga or Idiberung, in a Proto-Germanic language that pre-dates Old Norse.

Professor Kristel Zilmer, from the Cultural History Museum, University of Oslo, said: “The text possibly refers to a woman called Idibera, and the inscription may mean “For Idibera”. Other possibilities are that idiberug reproduces a name such as Idibergu/Idiberga, or perhaps the family name Idiberung.”

KHM

Header Image Credit : Alexis Pantos/KHM, UiO

 

- Advertisement -
spot_img
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan is multi-award-winning journalist and the Managing Editor at HeritageDaily. His background is in archaeology and computer science, having written over 7,500 articles across several online publications. Mark is a member of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW), the World Federation of Science Journalists, and in 2023 was the recipient of the British Citizen Award for Education, the BCA Medal of Honour, and the UK Prime Minister's Points of Light Award.
spot_img

Mobile Application

spot_img

Related Articles

Study confirms palace of King Ghezo was site of voodoo blood rituals

A study, published in the journal Proteomics, presents new evidence to suggest that voodoo blood rituals were performed at the palace of King Ghezo.

Archaeologists search for home of infamous Tower of London prisoner

A team of archaeologists are searching for the home of Sir Arthur Haselrig, a leader of the Parliamentary opposition to Charles I, and whose attempted arrest sparked the English Civil War.

Tartessian plaque depicting warrior scenes found near Guareña

Archaeologists from the Institute of Archaeology of Mérida (IAM) and the CSIC have uncovered a slate plaque depicting warrior scenes at the Casas del Turuñuelo archaeological site.

Archaeologists find a necropolis of stillborn babies

Excavations by the National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (Inrap) have unearthed a necropolis for stillborn and young children in the historic centre of Auxerre, France.

Researchers find historic wreck of the USS “Hit ‘em HARDER”

The Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) has confirmed the discovery of the USS Harder (SS 257), an historic US submarine from WWII.

Archaeologists uncover Roman traces of Vibo Valentia

Archaeologists from the Superintendent of Archaeology Fine Arts and Landscape have made several major discoveries during excavations of Roman Vibo Valentia at the Urban Archaeological Park.

Archaeologists uncover crypts of the Primates of Poland

Archaeologists have uncovered two crypts in the collegiate church in Łowicz containing the Primates of Poland.

Giant prehistoric rock engravings could be territorial markers

Giant rock engravings along the Upper and Middle Orinoco River in South America could be territorial markers according to a new study.