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The Runestone that predates the Vikings -VikingSprit

By CollaboratorKeato October 21, 2019 0 comments

What is Rune

The word “Rune” originates from the German root run-, it means “whisper” or “secret." Runes contain lots of inscription and information which were put down by the Vikings or Norsemen during the Viking age.

Origin of the Runes

Runes according to Norse mythology was first discovered by the god Odin. History has it that he gained access to the Runes through an act of self-sacrifice. The god Odin was said to have found runes swirling around in dark waters after he had hung for nine days and nine nights on the world tree known as Yggdrasil.

The Runestone that predates the Vikings

The most popular runestone originates from the 900's and the 1000's AD,  however, to these runestones there are just a few exceptions, one of which is the recently found runestone.

The greatest chronological sensation in Norway is the recently found Overby runestone which was found in mandal in the year 2009. The Overby stone is reported to be from the 400's AD, and it contains a text not less than 35 runes which is generously distributed on two surfaces on a large boulder.

In what languages are the inscriptions on the runestone written

The inscription on the runestone is written in proto Norse. Proto Norse is a language that is no longer spoken, and only a very few persons can read or understand it. During the scan process of the rock surface (the runestone), one runologist known as Caroline Kjesrud who was a researcher at the University of Oslo said the runestone had a real inscription.

The inscriptions on the Runestone is very extensive and can provide lots of new information about ancient languages. Some words which root words were already considered missing was also found. An example is the use of the word “rask” that was thought to be missing was found. The proto Norse, with time, developed into old Norse. These languages were spoken during the Viking age in Scandinavia. However, despite the fact that these languages were spoken in Scandinavia during the Viking age, they are different languages just with a few similarities.

What inscriptions are found on the Runestone

  1. The first part of the inscription on the runestone has Lu irilaR raskaR runoR written on it. When translated to the English language the inscription means "carve rune skilled runemaster," it will interest you to note that the word raskaR which means skilled is appearing for the first time in history, however, the word raskaR which means skilled now lost in the Norwegian language. On the discovery of the runestone, the people adopted it as a source of the history of the language.

As a result of the gigantic size of the runestone, it was impossible to tell what inscriptions were beneath; however, the researcher Caroline kjesrud says there are runes beneath it. After some set of researchers from the cultural history museum, archaeologist from ostfold country municipality, and the University of Oslo arrived to turn the stone, scan it and document all the inscriptions beneath it, the stone was a little bit damaged but as a result of the presence of different archaeologists and language scientists who were present,  getting the inscriptions and it's meanings were not impossible. Here are some remarks from different professors who were present during the scan; 

  • Frode Iversen, a professor of archaeology, cultural history museum (khm) said: "this is great."
  • Another scientist said the findings in the Runes were “sensational." And usually, we know how words such as sensational are barely used by scientist. However, the uniqueness of this Rune made an exception.

Interesting facts about the Runestone that predates the Vikings

There are particular facts about the Runestone which would be of great interest to you.

  • The shape of the rock is horizontal rectangular with runes on it.
  • The measurement is about 112.5 × 5 cm.
  • The thickness of the rock is about 27 to 33cm
  • Time and other factors have affected the inscription on the runes thereby making some part parts of the rock with inscriptions almost invisible.
  • The horizontal rectangular shaped rock contains about 18 runes on the edge of the stone and Kore runes beneath or underneath the stone. The number of runes underneath the stones are certain. What is certain is the fact that there are runes beneath it.
  • The runes are about 15 to 16 cm tall.
  • The stone was later used as the staircase in the new farmhouse in overby.
  • In the year 1990, the stone was moved into the garden and used as a bench.
  • Proto Norse language is different from the modern day Scandinavian language.

After finding this rock containing runes here is what was done with it.


  1. The inscription’s documentation.

   The photogrammetry along with the inscription of the entire stone undergo scanning. The result of the scan should be one to two-millimeter depth slots for the inscription. The result of this type of documentation is a good and sufficient assessment for the minimum basis of the runes.


  1. The original site was Identified.

    The stone that is required has been obtained and collected from a nearby hill. There is now an attempt of identification for the original site.


  1. Inscription’s Reading and Interpretation.

   During the course of the year (2019), spring to be exact, a scientific article about the discovery will be published by, Gundersen, Kjesrud along with Iversen made an article based on their discoveries.


  1. Further Administration:

    The rock has been discovered but the questions arose. should it remain at the original spot of discovery? Should there be a movement of the stone to its original location, or should it be taken to another location in the Rakkestad district?


Should the Cultural History Museum collect the stones if the runes are put into consideration?

 In adherence to the Cultural Heritage Act, because the stone has been moved, it is therefore identified as a loose cultural heritage. The Administrative authority is the Cultural History Museum and is in dialogue with the Østfold County District's landowners and Rakkestad District's landowners to be able to find a good solution.

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