Kensington Runestone

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The Kensington Stone is a rune stone that was found on farm near Kensington, Minnesota in 1898, which apparently proves an ancient Scandinavian presence in North America before Columbus.


In 1898, a Minnesota farmer, Ohland, discovered the large stone -- 31 inches high, 16 inches wide, six inches thick and weighing 202 pounds -- while trying to remove a large tree on his farm. The stone was tangled in the roots of the tree, suggesting it was in the soil before the tree took root. Originally not knowing what to make of the stone with the strange rune markings, the farmer used it as a step to enter his home for many years, before eventually giving it to a local museum to examine.

Text of the Stone

The translated text on the stone:

"8 Goths and 22 Norwegians, on exploration journey from Vinland over the west. We camp by two skerries one day's journey from this stone. We camped and fished for one day. After we came home, 10 men red with blood and tortured. Hail Virgin Mary, save us from evil. Have 10 men by the sea to look after our ship, 14 days' journey from this island. Year 1362."[1]

The Authenticity of the Stone

Recent scholarship has proven the stone is genuine. This has not been accepted by PC historians yet, much less in the popular mind, for political reasons. The proofs of the authenticity of the stone are as follows:

  • Geologic examination -- The stone-face has been subject to many centuries of weathering according to geologists.
  • Carbon-testing -- Other, less-impressive runic artifacts from North America attest to similar dates: "Richard Nielsen, had already determined an internal date of “1401” from the Maine artifacts’ runic texts. Only later, just 300 yards from Spirit Pond, did archeologists uncover the remains of a Norse-style sod building, and radiocarbon-dated its floorboards to circa A.D. 1405."
  • Runic scholarship -- The stone contains a form of writing the runes that is peculiar to the island of Gotland, and which was unknown to scholars until the past decade. Researcher Scott Wolter discovered this.[2] In other words, there is no way the stone can be a fake, because no one knew about such manners of writing in the 1890s in order to be able to fake them.

Other sources state, the scholarly consensus has classified it as a hoax.

Significance of the Stone

In the narrow sense, the stone proves that a Scandinavian watergoing travelling-party visited Minnesota in the 1300s. But was it an isolated incident, as PC-scholarship says L'Anse Meadows was? Or was it a part of a more-serious colonization effort?

The foremost expert on the Kensington Stone alive today, Scott Wolter, asserts that it was most likely a "land claim":

The Kensington Rune Stone was not just some pre-Columbian anomaly proving only that the Norse beat the Spaniards to America. He competently defines it as a land-claim marker. In other words, the men who set it up did so to declare what later became west central Minnesota for themselves. The inscription’s date of 1362, Wolter demonstrates, was additionally encoded in the runic text itself, because its Arabic numerals were vulnerable to alteration by interlopers. After carving, the Kensington Rune Stone was deliberately buried, and triangular-shaped holes were drilled into glacial boulders not far away; these were used to triangulate and relocate the precise position of the buried rune stone. The directional marker holes are no speculation, but were recently found, and do indeed still indicate the original location of the Kensington Rune Stone’s discovery by Olof Ohman.[1]

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