A Stone Says More Than a Thousand Runes

ScienceDaily (May 28, 2010) — “It was not necessary to be literate to be able to access rune carvings in the 11th century. At the same time those who could read were able to glean much more information from a rune stone than merely what was written in runes. This is shown in new research from Uppsala University in Sweden.

Rune stones are an important part of the Swedish cultural environment. Many of them are still standing in their original places and still bear witness about the inhabitants of the area from a thousand years ago. They thereby represent a unique source of knowledge about the Viking Age, providing us with glimpses of a period we otherwise would have known very little about. Among other themes, they tell us about family relations, travels, or matters of faith, and all of it in a language that scholars can understand fairly readily.”

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4 thoughts on “A Stone Says More Than a Thousand Runes”

  1. Steven:

    I have a feeling people were taught how to read and possibly carve runes. If they could do this, they could leave all sorts of messages. Many of them appear to have been memorials to a deceased relative, or at least many of the ones I know about, for whatever that is worth.
    Anne G

  2. That’s very possible, Anne. Runic inscriptions are fascinating to me. According to a show I watched a while back on the History Channel, stones with runic inscriptions have been found in the U.S. as well.

  3. STeven:

    Just a word of caution here: Venues like the History Channel can be an unreliable source of information about many things. So if you have even the slightest questions about anything you see or hear about runes, or anything else, on the History Channel or like venues, you should note it and do some, shall we say, backup reading on the subject.
    Anne G

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