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Kensington Runestone

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Author Topic: Kensington Runestone  (Read 2518 times)
Ratina
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« on: April 25, 2010, 02:39:25 am »

In 1907 the stone was purchased, reportedly for ten dollars, by Hjalmar Holand, a former graduate student at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Holand renewed public interest with an article[14] enthusiastically summarizing studies that were made by geologist Newton Horace Winchell (Minnesota Historical Society) and linguist George T. Flom (Philological Society of the University of Illinois), who both published opinions in 1910.[15]

According to Winchell, the tree under which the stone was allegedly found had been destroyed before 1910, but several nearby poplars that witnesses estimated as being about the same size were cut down, and by counting their rings it was determined they were indeed around 30–40 years old (NB: letters were written to members of a team which had excavated at the find site in 1899, and their estimates from memory, without any reference to tree rings, ranged as low as 10–12 years in the case of county schools superintendent Cleve Van Dyke[16]). The surrounding county had not been settled until 1858, and settlement was severely restricted for a time by the Dakota War of 1862 (although it was reported that the best land in the township adjacent to Solem, Holmes City, was already taken by 1867, by a mixture of Swedish, Norwegian and "Yankee" settlers[17]).

Winchell also concluded that the weathering of the stone indicated the inscription was roughly 500 years old. Meanwhile, Flom found a strong apparent divergence between the runes used in the Kensington inscription and those in use during the 14th century. Similarly, the language of the inscription was modern compared to the Nordic languages of the 14th century.[15]

Most discussions over the Kensington Runestone's authenticity have been based on an apparent conflict between the linguistic and physical evidence[citation needed]. The Runestone's discovery by a Swedish farmer in Minnesota at a time when Viking history and Scandinavian culture were popular and sometimes controversial topics has caused skepticism of its provenance to linger for more than a hundred years.[citation needed]

The Kensington Runestone is currently on display at the Runestone Museum in Alexandria, Minnesota[18].
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