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News: Underwater caves off Yucatan yield three old skeletonsóremains date to 11,000 B.C.
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Kensington Runestone

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Author Topic: Kensington Runestone  (Read 2524 times)
Ratina
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« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2010, 02:57:29 am »

Physical analysis

In July 2000, just over a hundred years after the Kensington Rune Stone had been found, a detailed physical analysis was made for the first time since Winchell's report in 1910. This included photography with a reflected light microscope, core sampling and examination with a scanning electron microscope.

In November 2000, geologist Scott F. Wolter presented preliminary findings suggesting the stone had undergone an in-the-ground weathering process that should have taken a minimum of 50–200 years in natural conditions; specifically, he found a complete breakdown of mica crystals on the inscribed surface of the stone. In 2003, Wolter collected samples from slate gravestones in Maine that showed biotite mica beginning to mechanically come off the surfaces after 197 (plus or minus 5) years, but not the complete breakdown seen on the rune stone.[37][38] What the comparison cannot tell is what conditions the rune stone endured after it was carved—for example, how long the inscription was exposed to the air before ending up face-down.

Some critics have noted the surviving sharpness of the chisel work, asking how this could have endured centuries of freeze-thaw cycles and seepage. However, the back of the stone has crisply preserved glacial scratches that are thousands of years old.[citation needed] Other observers[who?] contend the runes have weathered consistently with the rest of the stone.
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