A secret code that remained unsolved for 1200 years has finally been cracked – and it reveals a dark prophecy that is already coming true.
This 1200-year-old Viking runestone carries a warning.
It’s a monument to a son, fallen in battle. But its coded text tells of a terrible threat to come.
It’s a 2.5m high, five-ton granite slab, deeply inscribed with Viking runes.
For centuries, the monolith lay hidden as a loadstone in a Swedish Östergötland countryside church wall. But, in 1862, renovation workers discovered it had inscriptions on five sides.
Now known as the Rök Runestone (Rökstenen), it turned out to be the oldest of its type. Also the longest.
Historians have been puzzling over the meaning of its 725 Norse characters ever since.
We know it was a eulogy, erected by a grieving Viking father. Did it also boast of his son’s heroic lineage? Was it a record of great battles?
Yes. And no.
The stone enigmatically talks of conflict “between light and darkness, warmth and cold, life and death.”