Björketorp Runestone

Elder Futhark Runic Alphabet.
Elder Futhark Runic Alphabet.

One side of the stone reads:
“I, master of the runes, conceal here runes of power. Incessantly (plagued by) maleficence, (doomed to) insidious death (is) he who breaks this (monument).”

The runes on the other side of the stone translate to “Prophecy of Destruction” or “Prediction of Perdition”, which may be in reference to a warning pertaining to the stone’s destruction. In other words– my words– Don’t attempt to destroy this stone or you will surely die.

The runic markings on the stone, made sometime around the 6th or 7th century, are consistent with Elder Futhark Runes– the oldest form of the runic alphabet, which was used by Germanic tribes between the 2nd and 8th centuries.

The name “Futhark” comes from the first six rune names– F, U, Th, A, R, and K. This runic alphabet also contains twenty-four runes, which are most often expressed in three rows, or groupings called ætts (pronounced “eats”), of eight.

This written language was later replaced by the more simplified version called Younger Futhark. As Younger Futhark became more predominately used, people forgot how to read Elder Futhark.

Norwegian scholar Sophus Bugge, was able to decipher the Elder Futhark runes in 1865, bringing a lost language back to life and making the translation of the Björketorp Runestone possible.
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