Kensington Runestone

Dwight Decker deckerd at
Thu Sep 1 19:04:55 CEST 1994

Quick note for Andrew: The Kensington Runestone (i.e., the stone with
alleged Norse carvings found by a Minnesota farmer in the late 19th
Century) isn't taken very seriously by experts, as I understand from
my reading. The provenance of the stone has always been suspicious,
as it was found by a Scandinavian farmer at a time when Vikings were
on the public mind (if I remember right, a reproduction of a Viking
ship had just crossed the Atlantic to the US in a highly publicized
event on the occasion of the Chicago World's Fair -- that Viking ship
was still in a Chicago park the last I knew, though vandalized and
sadly deteriorating). A French-speaking farmer with no known interest
in Scandinavian history finding such a stone in Quebec might have been
more believable. Also (and this is from memory), the Minnesota farmer
was known to have a copy of a popular encyclopedia of the time called
(in Swedish) "The Well-Informed Swedish Schoolmaster," and the Runic
inscription on the Runestone supposedly could have been made using
the information in the encyclopedia's article on runes.

--Dwight Decker

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