posted on Nov, 25 2011 @ 08:51 AM
Yes, it appears to be a mortar -- possibly used for grinding grains or perhaps for preparing herbs and minerals for medicinal purposes. As to the
writing, the symbols look runic but they're rather odd because while some (for example) appear to be Gothic -- such as hwair (the "O" symbol with
the dot in the middle) and othal [a.k.a. othala or odal] (crossover single upper loop) -- some others don't seem from that group. But it could be
that whoever carved them knew several types of runes and wanted to create a text or message whose meaning would be hard to derive.
If that was the case, then it suggests a ritual purpose to this item, rather than it simply being utilitarian. Actually, having letters carved inside
a mortar is not the smartest thing to do if you want to use it for common, everyday purposes, so the ritual nature becomes more likely.
However I am by no means a master at this kind of thing. Just posting my view on it. Hopefully someone will come along who can actually decipher