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This runestone near Uppsala in the east of Sweden was made by a complete and utter hack. Though the runes are clearly visible, they form no obvious words, and some runes are clearly overrepresented, while others are not known at all. Gibberish might be the term to use. On top of this, the inscriptions show a second rate craftsmanship, as can be clearly seen in how the lines cross each other in the lower middle of the stone (for example). The person responsible was probably illiterate and new to the art. That he/she still made the effort ought to say something of the status the raising of runestones brought, however. So an A for effort, at least.
The runestones near Uppsala are seldom this shoddy, however ...
The oldest runestones can be found in Norway and are from the 4th century CE, but runic inscriptions on other objects and materials are known from as early as the 3rd century CE, and an even earlier proto-version of the runic Alphabet is known from the first century CE. The custom of raising stones with chiseled runes seems to have spread from Norway in a mainly easterly direction and reached the east coast of Sweden around the turn of the millenium (even if a few runestones are far older). As the custom took hold this late, it had reached a high level of sophistication upon reaching the east of Sweden. The art form continued to evolve, however, and probably reached its greatest heights among the rune carvers of the east coast. The custom also seems to have survived longer among the Swedes of the east than among the Geats in the west, as the continental influence was much greater on the west of the country. As a result, the Uppland and Södermanland regions have the highest concentration of runestones in Scandinavia.
Sweden as a whole has about 2500 runestones, Denmark 300 and Norway 50.



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