What can we read into runestones?
The unique art form that is the runestone originates in the 4th century CE in Norway and Sweden, and later in Denmark. Early runestones were placed next to graves as memorials, inscribed with the names of those who had passed. At the height of the Viking Age, however, from the 8th century onwards, these raised granite markers were carved with more detailed information about those who had lived and died, their achievements, and where they traveled. In time, thousands of runestones decorated in the runic alphabet appeared all over the region. Today, runestones are the oldest existing original works of writing in Scandinavia and provide a fascinating record of Old Norse culture and tradition. But what exactly are runic alphabets, and where can you admire some of the finest examples of runestones? Click through and find out what's written in stone.