and the surrounding islands, many
runestones have been found.
Unfortunately, former generations did not
have any respect for them, or they
actually feared them. That meant many
have gone missing over the centuries.
Some have been used as they were as
foundation to churches and mansions,
others have been broken up to to be used in
Many of these left have, paradoxical
enough, been saved by the local churches.
That said, it must me mentioned; some
actually bear crosses, and was raised in
the Christian God's name.
They have been made over a long period,
and the letters used on them have
evolved. It started in the first
century, and was mainly used by Germans
and the Nordic people until around 1300.
The runes were created to epigraphic
texts, and was used in both religious
and everyday contexts like memorial to
deceased, owner signatures on objects,
graffiti, letters, notes, verses (of
poetry), prayers, short spells, etc.
They have evolved in
three stages, where the Elder Futhark
were in use from the first century to
the eights. It contained 24 runes, while
the younger is reduced to 16.
The Anglo-Saxon Futhorc, used
from 400 to 1100, and the Younger
Futhark, used from 800 to 1100. The
Younger Futhark is divided further into
the long-branch runes (also called
Danish, although they were also used in
Norway and Sweden); short-branch or Rök
runes (also called Swedish-Norwegian,
although they were also used in
Denmark); and the stavlösa or Hälsinge
runes (staveless runes).
The Younger Futhark developed further
into the Medieval runes, used 1100 to
1500 AD, and the Dalecarlian runes from
around 1500 to 1800 AD. They were used
alongside the Latin alphabet, which
become the most common.
Their origin is
unknown, but it is thought they could
have been inspired by the Latin letters,
but made more suitable for easy carving
into tree, metal or stone. Most of the
old ones are known from Denmark, but as
the wood probably was the most common in
the old days, most have vanish by time.
The runestones only become popular in
the sixth century. The moist and frosty
winters in Denmark are not kind to these
I have visited some of the stones around
the islands, and made a page for each
with breath information.