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Viking Runes

Vikings had their own system of writing, called Runes. The basic alphabet had 16 letters. It was called a Futhark after the first 6 letters.  The first runic inscriptions, or carvings, are from around the year 200 AD, and have an alphabet with 24 letters. Around 800 AD the alphabet was shortened to 16 letters. Runes were used to write up until the Middle Ages.  Inscriptions on stone and wood were made in normal runes. There was another version of the alphabet for everyday messages on wood or bone.   Bills, accounts, and love messages were written in runes on sticks. Everyday objects, like combs, would have their owner’s name written on them in runes. Vikings also celebrated bravery in battle, and the glory of those who died heroes, with memorial stones. These stones were carved with pictures, and writing in runes. The stones would be placed in public places for many people to admire. The most famous of these is the Jelling Stone, placed in Jutland, Denmark, by King Harald Bluetooth.


Use the attached Rune Writer Template to write your own name and create a secret message for a friend.