25 January, 15:00

Danish scientists have discovered runic inscriptions on the blade of a 2,000-year-old knife

Danish scientists have discovered runic inscriptions on the blade of a 2,000-year-old knife
This artifact opens a new page in history, where runes were used for communication and recording events. Danish scientists have discovered the oldest runic inscription in the country's history on the blade of a 2,000-year-old knife.

The runic inscription was on the blade of a knife 8 cm long, found under the remains of a funeral urn with ashes. The find was made east of the city of Odense in 1865.

After complete cleaning of contaminants and completion of all research, it was possible to recognize five characters approximately 0.5 cm high with three “pits”. They are supposed to stand for "small sword".
Unfortunately, it was not possible to establish who owned this knife. However, archaeologists believe that this man was of a noble family. After all, at that time only a small part of the population was literate and could afford such items.

Researchers are of the opinion that the value of the find lies no longer in who owned the knife, but in how old the artifact is. Runic inscriptions dating back 2,000 years have the potential to rewrite Danish history. They indicate that civilization and a high level of culture associated with writing existed in these lands at least 800 years earlier than hitherto believed.

“It’s like receiving a note from the afterlife, from the past. For us, this is an extraordinary find, and it speaks about the development of the earliest Scandinavian language,” commented Jacob Bonde, curator of the Montergarden Museum in Odense, on this find.

The inscriptions on the knife contain information that may reveal details about the society, language and perhaps even religious aspects of the time. This discovery provides new opportunities for studying the interaction of different cultures. Therefore, museum staff propose to continue researching the finds from this burial.
The Jelling rune stones, previously thought to be the oldest rune artifacts in Denmark, look younger next to the new find. After all, according to researchers, she is 800 years older. This raises the question of the evolution of writing and its role in the cultural development of the Danish people.

The finding also highlights the importance of ongoing research to study the past. Modern technologies and analysis methods make it possible to obtain new data and reveal previously unknown secrets of the past.

The knife, along with other artifacts found in 1865, is located in the Montergarden Museum in Odense.


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