Szervusztok! Welcome to the Hungarian Rune Project.
For over 200 years archaeologists have puzzled over the meaning of 14 short runic inscriptions scratched into the medieval gold vessels commonly known as the Nagyszentmiklós treasure. The characters of the inscriptions closely resemble Turkic rune signs carved on stones, cliffs, and man-made artifacts scattered throughout Eurasia from the Pontic steppe north of the Black Sea to the stony bluffs and ancient river valleys of north-central Mongolia. They also resemble the characters of the Old Hungarian runic script known as the Székely rovásirás ("carved-writing") which survived mainly among the Székely, a Hungarian-speaking people living in and around Transylvania for at least the last 900 years. Generations of professional and amateur language historians have tried to manipulate arbitrary derivations of "Old Turkic" , "Old Hungarian" runic characters, or even Byzantine Greek or Cyrillic signs, in the hope of unlocking at least the language of the inscriptions if not the meaning of the individual inscriptions themselves. These are not bilingual inscriptions. There is no accompanying text in any known language with which to compare the decipherer's best educated guess. An acceptable decipherment of the inscriptions would have to be based on the derivation of the Nagyszentmiklós runic characters from a known script, most likely some variation of one of the Turkic runic scripts.
In the summer of 2006 I happened to come across some published Turkic runic data which are almost certainly related to the Nagyszentmiklós runic characters. The data are not an exact match nor do they, by themselves, provide an entire set of characters that would be necessary for the complete decipherment of the Nagyszentmiklós inscriptions. But they were enough to provide the much needed key which I then used to unlock the text. The short runic inscriptions were used to mark individual vessels with personal names, family nicknames, and names of places, things, and characters in a story or local legend. The vessels themselves were then used as props in the telling or retelling of this story or local legend.
With the decipherment of the Nagyszentmiklós inscriptions, the next step was an attempt at the closely-related Szarvas bone needle-case runiform inscription (a szarvasi csont tütartó rovásfelirata). Much to my surprise, I was able to make out several Turkic words in Prof. Dr. Róna-Tas's detailed reconstruction of the inscription, and, with some luck, managed to place the words into a credible context. The Szarvas text would be recognizable to any adolescent anywhere, regardless of culture or historical time period.
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