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Do you believe that the Kensington Runestone is authentic?
 26%  [ 8 ]
 73%  [ 22 ]
Total Votes : 30

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JE Sarge
Industry Professional

PostPosted: Tue 20 Oct, 2009 1:39 am    Post subject: What do YOU think about the Kensington Runestone?         Reply with quote

As a former Minnesota resident, I can tell you that there is always a discussion in the historic re-enactment community about the Kensington Runestone going on. Every few years, new evidence seems to arise either supporting or denying its authenticity. Is it an important artifact from the 14th century or a 19th century hoax? This debate is endless, as soon as an authority debunks the Runestone as a fake, another seems to confirm it as being authentic.

My question is, what is your personal thoughts on the Kensington Runestone? WTF?!

J.E. Sarge
Crusader Monk Sword Scabbards and Customizations

"But lack of documentation, especially for such early times, is not to be considered as evidence of non-existance." - Ewart Oakeshott
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Steven H

Location: Boston
Joined: 10 May 2006

Posts: 545

PostPosted: Tue 20 Oct, 2009 9:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My reasoning can be summed up as: Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

So the stone creates a valid reason to search and dig more but proves litte on it's own.


Kunstbruder - Boston area Historical Combat Study
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Joel Minturn

Joined: 10 Dec 2007

Posts: 232

PostPosted: Tue 20 Oct, 2009 9:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

May be its a bit of wishful thinking but I have to go with the "its authentic" crowd.

I was watching some show a while back that had the premise that some of the odd characters on the stone were not mistakes but rarely used 13th century runes that would not have been know to a farmer. They do make reference to this in the Wiki page (Just take into account the page assumes its a hoax)

Another page on the Rune stone. Apparently there are other ruin stones found around the country even down to Tulsa, OK along with other Viking artifacts and mooring stones.
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Ken Speed

Joined: 09 Oct 2006

Posts: 656

PostPosted: Tue 20 Oct, 2009 10:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, My vote is, "No" although my mind isn't closed on the subject. If someone could provide strong evidence ( I doubt that we're ever going to get "PROOF") that it were real, I'd be prepared to listen. My problem is that we have L'Anse au Meadows (SP?) which is well documented and accepted as a Viking era settlement but it has no runestone, why would we kind one in Minnesota? My take has always been that there were a lot of Scandinavian settlers out there and someone had learned runes from a parent or grandparent and carved the thing as a joke and then it just got out of hand.
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Eric W. Norenberg

Joined: 18 Jul 2008

Posts: 271

PostPosted: Tue 20 Oct, 2009 10:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm sure this image has been posted here before, but for what it is worth...

So, yeah, the Vikings pretty much went everywhere. I'm not sure which idea is more tantalizing, 'tho: either some late-period Vikings really did penetrate far enough into North America for that (and other) runestones to wind up where they were supposedly found, or, there was (is?) a living tradition of the use of runes well beyond what most folks expect.

I like the theory that the Vikings did make the thing, and that possibly someone lugged it to the place it was found at a later date. Was it a souvenir, or even a sort of reminder of potential danger, to some native group? I also love the possibility that there was someone in that 19th century Swedish community who was well-versed enough in a surviving language tradition to have been able to pull off such a prank.

As with many things historically -related, maybe the most important aspect of its existence is, what does it mean to us, today (and I'd include the folks who either found or fabricated the thing)? Here in the greater Seattle area, we have two public statues that proudly proclaim the Viking heritage of some of the pioneering European folks, and those neighborhoods still identify with that heritage to some degree today, even if only for the street fairs. The never-ending quest for identity, in the New World...

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Damn Vikings.jpg

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Ben Potter
Industry Professional

Location: Altadena, CA
Joined: 29 Sep 2008

Posts: 342

PostPosted: Tue 20 Oct, 2009 11:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am by no way convinced either way, but I would tend to lean towards it's being authentic as it seems a bit far fetched that a farmer at that time would have all the necessary knowledge to produce a forgery that good. Also, the stone analysis indicates that it was produced before the area was settled by "Europeans". I don't have a problem with explaining the existence of a rune stone here but not at L'Anse au Meadow because if a party of Norse-Swedish had lost a number of their party they might very well engrave a stone in memory of them before they left the area for good. Just like there is a cairn at fort Ticonderoga in memory of the Highlanders who fell there. However, I can see how it could be a hoax, albeit a VERY well executed one.

We'll most likely never know the truth about this stone, but it is interesting to think about as either way it presents interesting facts about the past.

Ben Potter Bladesmith

It's not that I would trade my lot
For any other man's,
Nor that I will be ashamed
Of my work torn hands-

For I have chosen the path I tread
Knowing it would be steep,
And I will take the joys thereof
And the consequences reap.
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Michael B.
Industry Professional

Location: Seattle, WA
Joined: 18 Oct 2007

Posts: 367

PostPosted: Tue 20 Oct, 2009 2:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I grew up in a house a block away from the musuem where the stone is housed in Alexandria. Played a lot where it was dug out of the ground as well. Needless to say, growing up this was hotly debated even in the school system there. It's an incredible thing to see in real life. It's true that the farmer did dabble in runes. But it doesn't seem the right runes. The rock is incredibly weathered, but the runes are deep enough they are still clear. I would like to say it's real, just because it's how I was raised. The one thing that bugs me is that there's no sign of the battle in the area. Granted the battle could have taken place quite a ways away from their camp. Pehaps everyone is looking int he wrong lace for the evidence. More on this later, I'm typing on my phone, makes it difficult.
Michael Bergstrom
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