Czech and international scholars deciphered inscriptions engraved on a cow’s rib dating back to the 7th century, indicating that the Germanic runes were the first alphabet ever used by the ancient Slavs.
Until now, the Glagolitic alphabet invented by the Byzantine monk Saint Cyril in the 9th century was considered the oldest Slavic alphabet.
Saint Cyril and his brother Saint Method, toured in 863 in what was known as Great Moravia, which now extends between the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and parts of Austria, Germany, Poland, Ukraine and the Balkans.
An inscribed cow bone dating back to the seventh century proves that Germanic runes were the oldest script ever used by the ancient Slavs, Czech scientists said Thursday. https://t.co/6MaJqbSWAD
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But the broken cow rib, which was found in southern Czechia in 2017 and examined by an international team of Czech, Austrian, Swiss and Australian scientists, proved that the hypothesis regarding the first alphabet was wrong.
The head of the group of researchers Jerry Mahack of the Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic, explained that he and his colleagues discovered “that this is the oldest inscription found” on the history of the alphabet of the Slavic peoples.
“These accurate analyzes showed that the bone was of a domestic cow that lived about the year 600 AD,” said a member of a group of researchers analyzing at the University of “Fribor” in Switzerland Zuzana Hoffmanova.
Robert Niduma of the University of Vienna explained that the inscription belongs to the Futhark alphabet used by German-speaking Central Europeans from the second to the seventh centuries.
The Futhark alphabet consists of 24 signs, and the researchers said the last seven were listed on the bone that was recently found.