The Tjurkö Bracteates

The Tjurkö golden bracteates were found in 1817 on the island of Tjurkö in the archipelago of eastern Blekinge. Together with them was found an Eastern Empire coin minted in the year 443. Two of the Tjurkö bracteates have runic inscriptions. The third bracteate has, as has also a bracteate from Senoren (another island in the Blekinge archipelago), an inscription, which is written with ancient Greek characters. Those Greek character inscriptions are however not written in Greek language, and therefore they have constituted a complete enigma to many researchers. The bracteates with runic inscriptions have also constituted an enigma, even though it has not always been admitted.

The Meaning of the Tjurkö Bracteates

Regarding the runes that are inscribed on the Tjurkö bracteates there are no difference in opinions. All of the runes are possible to read, although some of them have become a little damaged. Thus everyone agrees that the runes of Tjurkö bracteate 1 looks like the following:

As to the words of the bracteate, however, there are different opinions, due to failure of many to recognize that the inscription is Semitic. Above the distances between words have been exaggerated to some extent. It is interesting to note that the inscription of Tjurkö bracteate 1, like many other old runic inscriptions, is read from right to left. Transliterated it can be written as

h-e-l-d-a z-k-u-n-i m-u-d-i-u
w u-r t-e-r-u-n-o z-a-n w a-l h a-k-u-r-n-e

Please click on the words in the transliteration above in order to see a corresponding Hebrew or Aramaic word for each Runic word!

This can, just like the other ancient runic inscriptions from Blekinge, easily be understood as a Semitic fertility cult inscription, whose language is close to Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic. With Hebrew characters it can be written like:

The meaning of this is:

In life's old age, at the appointed time,

then our joy rises thick and high at last.


Tjurkö bracteate 2 also has a runic inscription, which looks like:

By means of the Hebrew script it can be written as:

The meaning of it is (sexual) "satisfaction".

For general information about the language of the ancient Blekinge inscriptions, please click here.

The Gematria of Tjurkö Bracteate 1

The gematria of the Tjurkö bracteate 1 is summarised in the table below. For an explanation of the numerical values of the runes, please click here.


The main thing to notice in the gematria of Tjurkö bracteate 1 is that the total gematrical sum is divisible by seventy

The Gematria of Tjurkö Bracteate 2

A calculation of the gematria of Tjurkö bracteate 2 yields 23 + 16 + 3 = 42 = 76. Thus we have again a number that is divisible by seven.

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