Advertisement

Scientists find runes on ancient comb

Share this article

Photo: DPA
11:45 CEST+02:00
Archaeologists have found the oldest engravings of letters ever to be discovered in central Germany, officials from the area announced on Thursday.

The ancient letters, called runes, were scratched onto a 12.5 centimetre-long comb by Germanic settlers in the second century, scientists working on the site in Saxony-Anhalt believe.

The letters spell out “Kama”, meaning comb, the president of the state Heritage and Archaeology Management Office, Sven Ostritz, said on Thursday.

It is the oldest ever example of runic writing to be found in that part of the country, he added.

Germanic languages used the runic alphabet to write before the Latin alphabet became widespread. The earliest runic engravings have been dated back to 150AD.

Engravings from a similar period have been found in the Märkische Schweiz region near Berlin, and in western Ukraine, Ostritz revealed.

The comb, which is made from deer antler, was lifted out of its resting place nearly two metres below the ground several years ago. But it had been tucked away until recently, when scientists cleaned it off and put it under a microscope to examine the writing.

Story continues below…

It had to be painstakingly re-assembled by the team though, as it was originally found broken into pieces. Historians have been working on the ancient Germanic settlement where the comb was found since 2002.

DPA/The Local/jcw

Share this article

Advertisement

From our sponsors

How to get British healthcare no matter where you are

Navigating the health care system in another country can be tough, and even when it all works out, sometimes you just miss the comfort of the system back home. But there's a solution.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Popular articles

Advertisement
Advertisement