Translation and A.D. deckerd at
Mon Oct 23 17:00:19 CET 1995

> That's also the case with a famous "runic stone"
> found late last century or early in this, however  which is proven
> to have been faked by a Swede or something.
> Bjorn-Are
Sounds like the Kensington Runestone of Kensington, Minnesota,
found by one Olof Ohman in 1898, which supposedly tells of a
Viking expedition dated AD 1362. One problem with it was the
fact that the Viking colony in Greenland had already been
abandoned in 1345, and all expeditions to North America known
from the sagas had begun there. With Viking exploration and
settlement in decline, even contraction, by then, an expedition
that far inland at that date seems unlikely. Further, the language
on the runestone is supposedly a modern Swedish dialect spoken
only in the American midwest and the runes are also of recent
vintage. I've seen it argued that everything on the stone can
be traced to "Den Kunskapsrike Skolmastaran" ("The Well-Informed
Schoolmaster"), a popular Swedish encyclopedia at the time, as
though Ohman simply got his information from that and carved the
stone himself. Then there's common sense. I'd believe the story
if, say, an Italian immigrant farmer found the stone, somebody who
had little or no idea what he had and couldn't have easily faked it,
but for a Swede who knew the language and knew the history -- it
just seems a little convenient. However, to this day the Stone has
its defenders, and there are counter-arguments for the above. The
Stone continues to be a major tourist attraction in Kensington.
I have to admit I don't know all this stuff off the top of my
head. Much of the above is paraphrased (or stolen outright) from
_Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries: Science and Psuedoscience in
Archaeology_ by Kenneth L. Feder (Mayfield, 1990)

--Dwight Decker

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