Solving a puzzle

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900-Year-Old Coded Viking Message Carved on Wood Fragment Finally Solved, It Says “Kiss Me”

For the past several years researchers have been trying to crack a Viking rune alphabet known as Jötunvillur, a perplexing code dating back to the 11th or 12th century that’s been found in some 80 inscriptions including the scratched piece of wood found above. Recently runologist Jonas Nordby from the University of Oslo managed to crack the code and discovered the secret message etched into this particular 900-year-old object reads “Kiss me.” 

“It’s like solving a puzzle,” said Nordby to the Norwegian website forskning.no. “Gradually I began to see a pattern in what was apparently meaningless combinations of runes.”

However, those thinking that the coded runes will reveal deep secrets of the Norse will be disappointed. The messages found so far seem to be either used in learning or have a playful tone. In one case the message was ‘Kiss me’. Nordby explains “We have little reason to believe that rune codes should hide sensitive messages, people often wrote short everyday messages.”
The act of coding secret messages appears to have been a leisure activity amongst the Vikings, as some of the other translated inscriptions turned out to be playful taunts at the person doing the decoding.

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