According to experts, the runestone may be one of the oldest in the country. It was discovered by accident by a married couple - Lene Brandt and Anders Nielsen - while they were renovating their kitchen. The find is the 44th runestone discovered in the area around Randers.

The runestone itself is quite large: it is two meters long and 80 centimeters wide. It has been named the Mosekær stone (Mosekærstenen), as it was discovered in the Mosekær village.

According to the National Museum of Denmark, the Mosekær stone could date back to the 8th century when the Viking Age began. In comparison, the Jellingstenenen are from the year 965.

There are only five carvings – i.e., runic letters - left of the original inscription in the newly discovered stone.

The Viking Herald reached out to Lisbeth Imer, runologist at the National Museum in Copenhagen, to get more information on the inscription on the runestone.

There are only five carvings left of the original inscription in the runestone. Photo: The National Museum of Denmark

TVH: What do we know about the inscription on this exciting new runestone? Have you had the time to analyze it? 

LI: The inscription consists of five runes *aft bi* that are either the beginning of the text or the end. My best guess is that they form the beginning of a text that resembles a well-known type of inscriptions from the 8th or 9th centuries in Denmark like “After B… stands this stone” – that is, “In memory of B… stands this stone”

TVH: Is this runestone find comparable to any other finds of this type in Denmark?

LI: The inscription bears a resemblance to other runestones of an early type from the 8th and 9th centuries that were found in Denmark and Sweden.

Runestones were erected in Denmark from the 8th to the 11th centuries, so it is a rather long tradition. We know of around 200 runestones within the present Danish borders. The runestone from Randers is of an early type, maybe dated to the 9th century. This makes it one of the oldest runestones that we know of. Only around 10 or 20 runestones were erected in the 8th and 9th centuries.

Runestones were erected as personal manifestations in the landscape. They are memorial stones connected to the honoring of the dead, but they were also used as political manifestations to ensure and underline the power and wealth of the family. Some runestones were connected to national politics – like Harald Bluetooth’s larger stone in Jelling – and some are to be viewed from a more local political perspective, like the newly found stone in Randers.

TVH: How will the research into this runestone proceed? What needs to be done to determine the age and other characteristics of the stone?

LI: (We now need to) compare (it) with other runestones of the same type.

The fascinating runestone was discovered by Lene Brandt and Anders Nielsen while they were renovating their kitchen in a house outside of Randers in Denmark. Photo: Lene Brandt

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