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Runic Inscriptions

28 29 The Orkney islands nestle remotely on the shoulders of north east Scotland, and close to the Loch of Harray on the mainland of Orkney is the impressive prehistoric mound known as Maeshowe. Within its chambers are contained the densest concentration of runic inscriptions found in any one place in the British Isles and are dated at around the eleven hundreds. Situated on the northwest wall of the central chamber this amusing inscriptions first two lines of runes translate into English thus Ingibjorg, the fair widow. Many a woman has gone stooping in here. A great show off. The last line of characters are known as twig runes through their resemblance to twigs and were used to conceal a runes identity. Left side strokes on the stave define the ttir 13 and the right side stroke would denote the hidden character in that ttir 18. Eg the ProtoGermanic word runa in the Common Germanic Fuark encodes as shown below. These twig runes utilise the ttir of the Orkney rune row and translate into the name Erlingr who probably carved the runes. mAeshowe no. 9 an Orkney lay
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