Home Interior Design A couple renovating their kitchen in Denmark found an ancient stone engraved with Viking runes

A couple renovating their kitchen in Denmark found an ancient stone engraved with Viking runes

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When Lene Brandt and her husband, Anders Nielsen, were about to tear up the linoleum floors in the kitchen of their home in the village of Mosekær, Denmark, they were probably expecting the normal things that happen in a such a project: cost overruns, delays and problems with contractors.

Instead, what they found was an ancient artifact. The couple came across a stone weighing nearly 2,000 pounds, measuring more than six feet long, engraved with ancient runes. The couple contacted local experts at the Østjylland Museum. Staff archaeologist Benita Clemmensen is quoted by the cultural news site Skjalden saying that these stones are the only written traces of the Viking era.

Five runes can be found carved into the surface of the stone, reading “after Bi”, which can be translated as “after B”.

“The Mosekær stone must probably be dated to the 8th or 9th century because of the formula “After…” placed at the beginning of the text”, senior researcher and runologist Lisbeth Imer, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, tells Artnet News. “It correlates with an 8th century runestone on Fyn, the Flemløse stone with the text ‘After (i.e.’In memory of’) Hróðulfr stands this stone; he was … priest/leader. Son stored in memory. Color Ávarr.’

“IIt is probably one of the oldest runestones in Denmark,” she says.

Photo: National Museum of Denmark.

The museum has labeled the stone a treasure, meaning it legally belongs to the state.

New runestones are only found every five or 10 years, Imer says, “so it’s a rare find.”

Lisbeth Imer says Skjalden that only about twenty runestones from the 8th century have been discovered in Denmark. These early stones are very important, as there are approximately 200 known Viking Age runestones (dating from the 700s to the 900s) throughout the country. Norse literature is dense with references to runes, which may have served as magical signs to be used in charms.

The ancient stone with the runes highlighted. Photo: National Museum of Denmark.

The area where this runestone was found has proven particularly rich for archaeologists, yielding some 44 such artifacts, according to Arkeonews.

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