For the past few years researchers have been trying to work out a coded messaged, believed to be Viking, carved on a piece of wood over 900 years ago.
The Viking rune alphabet, Jotunvillur, a code dating back to the 11th or 12th century. Runologist Jonas Nordby from the University of Oslo has cracked the code and discovered a secret message etched into this particular piece of wood.
"From the jotunviller code, one would replace the original runic character with the last sound of the rune name. For example, the rune for 'f', pronounced 'fe', would be turned into an 'e', while the rune for 'k', pronounced kaun, became 'n'. It's like solving a puzzle; gradually I began to see a pattern."
Coding secret messages seems to have been an activity amongst the Vikings, as some of the inscriptions have turned out to be playful taunts towards the person who would decode it.
Those thinking that the coded runes will reveal deep secrets of the Vikings are in for a disappointment, then. However, writing cute messages in code as a past-time brings a sense of humanity to these often-feared people who lived almost 900 years ago.
The messages found have either been playful, cute or a learning overtones. The messages all tend to be very short, much like writing a quick note, or sharing a private joke with your friends in the modern day.
So, after all that, what did the message carved on the wood reveal? It said, simply, "Kiss Me."
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