Researchers Find the Oldest Runestone in the World

With ancient writing on it, researchers in Norway claim to have discovered what they consider to be the oldest runestone in the entire world. The characters found in several Germanic alphabets are called runes. Before the Latin alphabet was adopted, these characters were in use in northern Europe dating back thousands of years. It’s unknown where runic writing originated exactly. The runestone’s lettering may be as old as 2000 years old, according to Norwegian academics. The runestone has a flat, square shape. The Museum of Cultural History in Oslo stated that the runes carved into it might be the first known example of words in Scandinavia.

It was described as “the oldest datable runestone in the world” and “among the oldest runic inscriptions ever found.” Professor Kristel Zilmer teaches at the University of Oslo, which includes the museum. “This find will give us a lot of knowledge about the use of runes in the early Iron Age,” Zilmer told The Associated Press. This might be one of the earliest attempts in Scandinavia and Norway to use runes on stone. Runes have been discovered on household items and stones. Though not on stone, older runes have been discovered on other objects as well. The first known runic writing can be found on a bone hair instrument. Denmark is where it was discovered.

During a dig near Tyrifjord, west of Oslo, in the fall of 2021, the runestone was found. There are numerous significant archeological discoveries in the area. According to Zilmer, the discovery was held up until now so that scientists could examine and date the runestone. The stone is 31 by 32 centimeters in size and is written in multiple languages. Some of these don’t make sense. The word “idiberug” is written in eight runes across the front of the stone; this could be a person’s or family’s name.

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