The present piece deals with the early history of the Scandinavian dotted runes. The medieval rune-row or fuþork was an extension of the younger 16-symbol fuþark that gradually emerged at the end of the Viking Age. The whole inventory of dotted runes was largely complete in the early 13th century. The focus rests on the Scandinavian runic inscriptions from the late Viking Age and the early Middle Ages, viz. the period prior to AD 1200. Of particular interest are the earliest possible examples of dotted runes from Denmark and Norway, and the particular dotted runes that were in use. Not only are the Danish and Norwegian coins included in this discussion, the paper also reassesses the famous Oddernes stone and its possible reference to Saint Olaf in the younger Oddernes inscription (N 210), which places it rather safely in the second quarter of the 11th century. The paper highlights aspects of absolute and relative chronology, in particular the fact that the earliest examples of Scandinavian dotted runes are possibly as early as AD 970/980. Also, the fact that dotted runes — in contradistinction to the older and younger fuþark — never constituted a normative and complete system of runic writing is duly stressed. In this context, the author also warns against overstraining the evidence of dotted versus undotted runes for dating medieval runic inscriptions since the danger of circular reasoning looms large. This is a preliminary study to reassess the possible origin of dotted runes and the technique of diacritic dotting in the British Isles.