Runes on ancient stone mention climate catastrophe

Swedish scientists have deciphered the runes on a stone dating back to 800 AD. The Rök stone containing 763 runes was erected by Vikings.

© Bengt Olof ÅRADSSON CC BY 1.0
After reading and translating some fragments, the experts suggested that the runes described military battles. The researchers compared the dates to the real historical events, but nothing that would fit the description happened at the time.
Searching for answers, the experts went further. During additional research, the scientists concluded that the events described in the runes referred to the battle against extreme climate phenomena rather than military battles. The author, Varin, described the death of his son Vamod. The events took place during a cold spell caused by volcanic eruptions on the Scandinavian Peninsula. It destroyed crops and caused famine. Half the population of the peninsula died, including the author’s son. Thus, the described ‘battles’ are metaphorical; it is «the conflict between light and darkness, warmth and cold.»
The author was so scared of the natural phenomena that had been taking place for several years that he called them the harbingers of Ragnarok — the end of the world.


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