updated 02/14/2014 AT 1:00 PM ET
•originally published 02/12/2014 AT 1:15 PM ET
A 900-year-old coded Viking message has been cracked at last, and it’s pretty cute.
For years, experts have attempted to untangle a Norse rune alphabet known as Jötunvillur, by studying the pictured cattle bone and other samples. According to Medievalists.net, University of Oslo runologist K. Jonas Nordby finally deciphered the scratches on the artifact above. It reportedly says, “Kiss me.”
Yes, the big, burly Vikings of history had their own version of candy hearts. Like the pictured example, most of the 80 collected Jötunvillur samples translated into friendly notes.
“We have little reason to believe that rune codes should hide sensitive messages, people often wrote short everyday messages,” Nordby explained to the Norwegian news site forskning.no.