Opinion: The lessons we can learn from ‘idiberug’

Who was Idiberug? how did they live What did you dream? who did they love

Idiberug appears to read the eight characters carved into the world’s oldest known rune stone.

I’m sorry if that’s mispronounced; but anyone who actually said it has been gone for centuries.

Runestones are stone blocks with runic alphabet markings that were used by ancient people of Northern Europe. To modern eyes, they look like lines, grids, crosses, and zigzags.

Researchers at the University of Oslo Museum of Cultural History found the Idiberug, carved into a block of sandstone about a square foot, found among burnt bones and charcoal in a burial site in south-eastern Norway. Radiocarbon dating samples suggest the site likely dates to between the year 1 and 250 AD

The stone will be on display at the museum today, January 21, 2023. Twenty centuries later.

Kristel Zilmer, Professor of Writing and Iconography at the museum, told the University of Oslo’s website: “The text could refer to a woman named Idibera and the inscription could mean ‘For Idibera’. “Or, she suggests, ‘idiberug is rendering of a name like Idibergu, or perhaps its cognate name Idiberung… Not all inscriptions have a linguistic meaning,” she says. “It is possible that someone imitated, explored, or toyed with the Scriptures. Maybe someone learned how to carve runes.”

For example, I like to think of a child learning to chisel marks to say something about someone they love.

On the other hand, Idiberug can be a curse. Or just ancient runic gibberish.

Twenty centuries ago, you couldn’t just scribble down something like a phone number, a password, or a reminder to pick up oat milk. Much of what we call communication these days is casual, dashed, thumbed and abbreviated: FWIW, TBH, LMAO. And maybe we will soon be able to write robots.

I wonder how much of what we read and write today just disappears at the click of a hacker or is left behind as we dive into the next bright technology.

Idiberug on a rune stone may make you wonder: what will people discover and make of us centuries from now? Will it be monuments, rockets, skyscrapers, novels and symphonies – or notes, jokes and doodles? What stays, what falls away and what can take 20 centuries to be discovered?

We can’t know. We can only tell those around us how we feel in the time and world we share now. ILYSM. TMI?

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