Tuesday, June 07, 2011

De-Bunking the Kensington Rune Stone ...

Yet Again.
This topic reared its ugly head again on Norsefolk 2. This was my initial offering:

Viking disappearance from Greenland

This topic was dealt with in some detail in 'Vikings - North Atlantic
Saga', which was the most up to date research at the time of the exhibit
(being 2000)

As a member of the design team for the exhibit, I can tell you there was
considerable discussion about whether to even mention (much less
include) the Kensington stone in the exhibit. It has long been PROVEN to
be a forgery.

My friend Dr Birgitta Wallace specifically wrote a section in the book
on various theories of 'Norse' occupation sites outside of the proven
location at L'Anse aux Meadows. Outside of the Maine Silver Penny find
(another thing entirely) there are NONE.

Considerable wishful thinking however. Please check your geography and a
map. There are rapids at Montreal that kept ANYONE from passing an ocean
vessel further - until the St Lawrence Seaway was constructed. Remember
Niagara Falls? That takes a portage of over 15 km - if possible at all.

Horses can not possibly walk from modern New Brunswick over through the
bush on the Canadian Shield over the top of Lake Superior. (Ever tried
it? * I * have!)

As for taking the route from James Bay to Minnesota, remember that old
warning : "Stay on the boat..."

Even the most basic research will show all these 'finds' are from the
But this topic is like Jason from Friday the 13th - it just will not die. Rabid supporters of the WAG that the Norse did in fact travel into the interior of North America persist.

Enter Christie Ward

Christie also is known on the internet as 'the Viking Answer Lady'. I highly recommend her web site, which is an excellent resource for the serious re-enactor of the Viking Age. Her personal interests and specialties are textiles and food related topics, but the collection includes very much more.

She (with so much better patience than I have) took the trouble and effort to re-format the bulk of the text by the Smithsonian's Bill Fitzhugh from Vikings - North Atlantic Saga that I mentioned above. Using the power of the internet, Christie added web links for virtually ALL the individual references cited in Bill's original piece:
Debunking the Kensington Stone

Text below is taken from:

Fitzhugh, William W. and Elisabeth I. Ward, eds. Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga. Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution Press. 2000. (Available at Amazon.com)

Whenever possible, I have expanded in-text references to Google Book links or other online resources to better allow readers to follow up on these sources. If I have not linked a reference in the text, it means I could not find an online version of the text: however, it will still be listed in the bibliography, with, whenever possible, purchase information. When I have inserted my own text, it will be included in [Square Brackets and Green Text].

(from Christie's introduction)

To view Christie's version of the original article : go to 'Debunking the Kensington Stone'

To view the Smithsonian's web site on the parent exhibit : go to 'Vikings - North Atlantic Saga'

1 comment:

DHBoggs said...

Aside from everything else, it's ridiculous how the kensington stone is referred to as a Viking artifact. The date on it is 1322. You would think the forger might have gotten a few centuries closer to the actual viking age...


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