When we think of recording history our thoughts first go to papyrus, vellum, and cotton paper. Items that most collectors desire. But along with these forms, men and women have desired to record his or her existence. Runes are the characters in several Germanic alphabets that were used in northern Europe from ancient times until the adoption of the Latin alphabet. These characters are found on stones and different household objects.

The 12- by 12-inch runestone dates back to between 1 and 250 C.E

The 12- by 12-inch runestone dates back to between 1 and 250 C.E. Javad Parsa / NTB / AFP via Getty Images

Archaeologists in Norway have found a runestone which they claim is the world’s oldest.

“This find will give us a lot of knowledge about the use of runes in the early Iron Age. This may be one of the first attempts to use runes in Norway and Scandinavia on stone,” Kristel Zilmer, a professor at University of Oslo, of which the museum is part, told The Associated Press.

Older runes have been found on other items, like bone, but not on stone. Indications are that the runes likely were inscribed between A.D. 1 and 250. For the complete article from ABC and more see Smithsonian Magazine.