The Vikings flourished in Scandinavia between the years 700 AD to 1100, a time known as the Dark Ages in most of Northern Europe.
The Vikings raised stone markers in memory of their various kinsmen covered with their distinctive written language of runes. This first set of stones were in the National History Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen. To me they look like mysterious board games. The language of the Viking runes decoded at the museum in Silkeborg, Denmark. The Tirsted stone marker from the 10th century. This stone translated to the best of their abilities. It reminds me of Google translate for Danish to English – a lot of words, usually the critical ones, are missing!The red paint was added later by archeologists and adding modern materials to ancient stones is considered corrupting them, and is somewhat controversial in archeological circles.This is not the original stone, but a projection painted in what the archeologists believe were the original colours, which explains to me why the early archaeologists painted many of the stones with red – it seems they were trying to recreate the originals. A projection of the other side of the stone.A glassed-in rune stone at the Jelling Viking Museum is left in the state it was found. With out the red paint the runes become a texture, rather than a language. Personally I prefer the paint, but then I’m not an archeologist. Rune-like markings chiseled out of wood on a paddle.
- More of Frank’s Tuesday Photo Challenge: Ancient.
- More about our trip to Denmark & Sweden in 2018.
Lovely entry. We used to write in runes as kids – our secret language!
What a fun secret language, and so educational to puzzle out what your friends have written!
Miss it, in fact – those days…
Beautiful images and characters. Loved Copenhagen!
Copenhagen was a very different experience from other cities in Europe – I keep expecting them to be somewhat the same but they’re all so different!
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I had no idea they were painted in such bright colours. Thanks for the photos. I learnt something today.
They were quite bright, weren’t they?
Just realized that I had done a post on historical colours in Denmark; not nearly so ancient as the runes but just as bright! https://elizabatz.wordpress.com/2019/03/17/historical-colours-at-a-recreated-village-in-aarhus-denmark/
Without the red paint, I guess we can hardly recognise the code. It looks like scratches on the rock. An interesting system, I must say 🙂
Ancient code languages are so interesting and to me the red paint makes it more real and accessible
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