The Language of the Most Ancient Runic Inscriptions of Blekinge


In other ancient runic inscriptions, it has been proved, Semitic gutturals generally, with the exception of h, are omitted. It has also been proved that emphatic t in runic inscriptions in most cases is represented as t and that emphatic s is represented as s. These rules therefore also are relevant to the Blekinge inscriptions. Further it is evident that the Semitic z sound, corresponding to the Hebrew letter Zayin, in many cases, has been represented as s in beginnings of words. This also is consistent with other Semitic inscriptions. As for vowels it can be seen that many of them, as is common in Semitic script systems, have been omitted in the Blekinge inscriptions. On the other hand many vowels that normally are not written in Hebrew texts have been included in the Blekinge inscriptions.

For anyone who studies the Blekinge inscriptions closely it is evident that their language can be classified as a kind of Aramaic that (at least with respect to the words) is very close to Biblical and post-Biblical Hebrew. In the two volumes entitled Die minoische Schrift: Sprache und Texte (Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden, 1992-1997) are word-lists with Minoan, Ugaritic, Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic, Ethiopic, Akkadic etc. examples of words that are found in fertility cult texts. A comparison between the Blekinge inscriptions and those word-lists shows that the Hebrew word-lists make the best match. Forms of the following words are found both in the mentioned Hebrew word-lists and in the Blekinge inscriptions:


'ab
'aggan
'or
'el
'att
ba
ge
dud
ha
hara
we
u
zaqen
zeroa'
hædær
tiah
yad
tær
me
'ad
'azar
'al
'ærwa
rab
rawæ
rahoq
æba'


In the Aramaic word-lists we only find the following matches:


'ur (Jewish Aramaic)
duda
ha
we
zan
yad
'ad
rab


Consequently it can be concluded that those who wrote the ancient Blekinge inscriptions were Hebrews, or alternatively very closely related to the Ancient Israelites.


 

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