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  • The Elder Futhark is the oldest form of the runic alphabets. It was a writing system used by Germanic tribes for the northwestern and Migration period Germanic dialects. Its inscriptions are found on artifacts from the 2nd to 8th centuries. In Scandinavia, from the late 8th century, the script was simplified to the Younger Futhark, while the Anglo-Saxons and Frisians extended the Futhark which eventually became the Anglo-Saxon futhorc. Unlike the Anglo-Saxon and Younger Futharks, which remained in use during the Early and High Middle Ages, respectively, knowledge of how to read the Elder Futhark was forgotten until 1865, when Norwegian scholar Sophus Bugge deciphered it.

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