On a dark night for more than 750 years ago, perhaps Gyda was tired of her husband once again sitting too long in the bar. Maybe she wrote the characters quickly on a wooden stick, sent one of the children with the message gya: sæhir: atqu: kakhæim: Gyda says you should go home! Gyda’s message is one of many hundreds of runic inscriptions that have been found during the archaeological excavations at Bryggen in Bergen.
Excavations that have given us the largest rune collection in the world. These inscriptions give us a direct insight into everyday life in the Middle Ages. We find trade letters, trademarks, receipts, magic formulas, religious inscriptions, Norse poetry, poems and literature references in Latin, secret messages, sexual allusions, drunkenness and incomprehensible messages. Most of the messages were not meant for our eyes, but they still speak to us directly from several hundred years ago. Messages have been engravedwith a knife on a wooden stick one had at hand, handed over to the recipient, (hopefully) read, and thrown away.
In medieval Bergen, long before Post-it notes and SMS, this was the easiest way to communicate in writing. Bergen has the world’s largest collection of runic inscriptions from the Middle Ages.
Get to know the people who lived on Bryggen hundreds of years ago through the written messages they left behind.
Duration 15-20 minutes.