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Did the Scandinavians beat Columbus to America twice?
Yahoo! News - AFP ^ | 10.22.03

Posted on 10/22/2003 6:39:07 AM PDT by mhking

STOCKHOLM (AFP) - Archeologists have already established that Viking explorers beat Christopher Columbus to America by about 500 years, but experts in Sweden now hope to determine whether another group of Scandinavians landed in the New World in 1362, 130 years before Columbus.

A 90-kilo (200-pound) rune stone, a block of stone featuring symbolic engravings common during the Viking era, has been sent from the United States to Sweden's Museum of National Antiquities to establish whether it really dates from 1362, as its markings claim, or is just a hoax.

If confirmed as an authentic relic, the so-called Kensington stone would prove that another wave of explorers, more than 300 years after the Vikings, made it to the American continent before Columbus did in 1492.

"The stone is very important. But whether or not history will have to be re-written because of this stone is very difficult to say," museum curator Karl-Olof Cederberg told AFP.

A farmer in Kensington, Minnesota claimed to have found the stone on his property in 1898. The man, Olof Ohman, originally from Sweden, immediately suspected it was a rune stone.

He handed the slab over to experts, many of whom dismissed it as a fake; after years of dispute over its origin, the stone was returned to Ohman, who put it to use as a doorstep.

Decades later, interest in the stone was resuscitated and it eventually ended up on display in various US museums, including the Smithsonian Institution (news - web sites) in Washington.

Now, a dozen experts have descended upon Sweden's Museum of National Antiquities -- which is featuring the rune stone in an exhibit that opens Thursday -- to examine the stone's inscriptions and geological composition to determine its true origin.

According to experts, the inscription, translated into English, reads:

"Eight Geats (southern Swedes) and 22 Norwegians on this exploration journey from Vinland in (unclear) west. We made camp at two (unclear) one day's journey north of this stone. We went fishing one day. Upon our return we found 10 men red from blood and death, Ave Maria. Save us from evil. There are 10 men down by the sea guarding our ships, 14 days' journey from this island. Year 1362."

Those who believe that the stone is authentic claim that the marshy surroundings of its origin were areas of water in 1362, and therefore the area in Minnesota where it was found was indeed an island at the time.

At least one US expert, Scott Walter, has concluded that the stone was exposed to weather and winds for several centuries, boosting the claim that it is authentic.

One theory is that the Swedish-Norwegian king Magnus Eriksson in 1354 sent a team of explorers to find out what had happened to an expedition he had sent to Greenland. It would be this team that ultimately ended up in Minnesota.

However, sceptics note that the era of Viking exploration is believed to have ended some 300 years before the stone's date, and point out that the Viking practice of engraving rune stones was no longer common in the 1300s.

Others also wonder whether a group that has just found 10 companions savagely murdered would hang around to laboriously engrave a rune stone.

The Stockholm museum is now pinning its hopes on modern technology and a group of Nordic experts to once and for all resolve the more than 100-year-old mystery of the Kensington stone.

"Whichever conclusions are drawn, they will be interesting. If it is a bluff, it's still interesting because it would show that emigrants used the stone as part of their identity-building, playing on the references to the Vikings," Cederberg said.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; US: Minnesota
KEYWORDS: archaeology; archeology; christophercolumbus; discovery; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; museum; scandinavia; sweden; vikings; vinland
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1 posted on 10/22/2003 6:39:07 AM PDT by mhking
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To: Howlin; Ed_NYC; MonroeDNA; widgysoft; Springman; Timesink; dubyaismypresident; Grani; coug97; ...
Are they sure the rune didn't look like this?

Just damn.

If you want on the new list, FReepmail me. This IS a high-volume PING list...

2 posted on 10/22/2003 6:40:11 AM PDT by mhking
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To: mhking
Did the Scandinavians beat Columbus to America twice?

I don't know, my grandfather didn't get here till 1902.

3 posted on 10/22/2003 6:43:29 AM PDT by Charles Henrickson (Karl Henriksson, från Sverige)
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To: anguish; AzSteven; Bartholomew Roberts; bc2; Charles Henrickson; duke_h3; Eurotwit; Jamten; ...
Hej! to the Swedish Ping List.
4 posted on 10/22/2003 6:45:10 AM PDT by Charles Henrickson (Karl Henriksson)
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To: mhking
Those who believe that the stone is authentic claim that the marshy surroundings of its origin were areas of water in 1362, and therefore the area in Minnesota where it was found was indeed an island at the time.

You mean the earth can change without the existance of SUVs?

5 posted on 10/22/2003 6:45:57 AM PDT by Always Right
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To: Charles Henrickson
is there a Norwegian ping list? Uff da!
6 posted on 10/22/2003 6:50:27 AM PDT by Fierce Allegiance (Proudly posting without reading the article since October 12, 2003)
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To: mhking
When I was a kid in southeast Oklahoma, there was this big slab of sandstone near Heavener that was called the runestone. They've made a state park out of the area now, but if I remember correctly, they had dated those runes to around 800 AD.

If that's true, it's a pretty significant trashing to Columbus' claim of 'discovery.'

7 posted on 10/22/2003 6:53:35 AM PDT by Treebeard
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To: mhking
I always wondered how anybody could consider Columbus, or anybody else from Europe, "discovering" the Americas when roughly 20 million people already lived here and had for a dozen centuries...
8 posted on 10/22/2003 6:54:22 AM PDT by Thermalseeker
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Comment #9 Removed by Moderator

To: Fierce Allegiance
is there a Norwegian ping list? Uff da!

Jag vet inte, "I don't know." Start one up. That's what I did with the Swedish Ping List. Start by asking the FReepers listed by location under Norway.

10 posted on 10/22/2003 6:54:56 AM PDT by Charles Henrickson (Keeper of the Swedish Ping List.)
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To: Charles Henrickson
Did the Scandinavians beat Columbus to America twice?

Ja sure, you betcha!

11 posted on 10/22/2003 6:56:16 AM PDT by N. Theknow (Be a glowworm, a glowworm's never glum, cuz how can you be grumpy when the sun shines out your bum.)
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To: blam
ping
12 posted on 10/22/2003 6:56:50 AM PDT by Slicksadick
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To: okchemyst
Scandinavians landed in the New World in 1362, 130 years before Columbus.

Who made it first has never mattered. Who made it stick has always mattered.

13 posted on 10/22/2003 6:57:21 AM PDT by MosesKnows
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To: mhking
Absolute bunk. Everyone knows you can't have an actual claim to discovery unless it lead to the total destruction of indigenous cultures. < /s>
14 posted on 10/22/2003 6:57:51 AM PDT by Tijeras_Slim (There's two kinds of people in the world. Those with loaded guns and those that dig.)
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To: mhking
Vikings! Vikings!
Husker Va!
Ve vant a touchdown!
JA! JA! JA!
15 posted on 10/22/2003 6:58:16 AM PDT by N. Theknow (Be a glowworm, a glowworm's never glum, cuz how can you be grumpy when the sun shines out your bum.)
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To: Charles Henrickson
My great grandfather, Gustavis Adolphis Svenson, arrived from Vastervik, Sweden in 1902. The immigration authorities changed his name to Gus Swanson and that's what is on his gravestone.
16 posted on 10/22/2003 6:58:59 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Thermalseeker
After they immigrated from Asia.
17 posted on 10/22/2003 7:01:50 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: mhking

18 posted on 10/22/2003 7:06:08 AM PDT by 4mycountry (Here's to Bush '04, Mr. Limbaugh, the outlawing of speedos and the banning of kiddie animes! *glug*)
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To: Thermalseeker
This guy preceded the Asian immigrants by several centuries.


19 posted on 10/22/2003 7:09:24 AM PDT by ASA Vet (People have the governement they deserve.)
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To: Always Right; ScaniaBoy; Jamten; Ringman
. . . the existence of SUVs?

Skandinaviska Utforskande Vikingar.

20 posted on 10/22/2003 7:10:59 AM PDT by Charles Henrickson ("Scandinavian Exploring Vikings.")
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To: mhking
I'm doing the norse_course@yahoogroups.com. I wonder how many Scandinavian imigrants would have been able to write runes. There are a lot of runestones online if you do a google search. Almost all are commemorating the death of someone.
21 posted on 10/22/2003 7:11:18 AM PDT by finnsheep
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To: ASA Vet
Its my high school football coach...
22 posted on 10/22/2003 7:11:49 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: okchemyst
My first wife (RIP) grew up around Heavener and Poteau, I took her back there to visit and we went and saw the Runestone together. She said most of the local people have no interest and she had never seen it before. If it is for real then my ancestors must have traveled extensively in the New World, Oklahoma is a long way from the East coast!
23 posted on 10/22/2003 7:15:18 AM PDT by RipSawyer (Mercy on a pore boy lemme have a dollar bill!)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks; ScaniaBoy; Jamten; Ringman
My great grandfather, Gustavis Adolphis Svenson, arrived from Vastervik, Sweden in 1902. The immigration authorities changed his name to Gus Swanson. . . .

Min farfar kom från Bohuslän, Sverige, i 1902. De ändrade hans namn från "Karl Henriksson" till "Charles Henrickson," och jag är uppkallad efter honom.

24 posted on 10/22/2003 7:19:03 AM PDT by Charles Henrickson (Förstår ni?)
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To: finnsheep
If this is a fake, that would rune it for me.
25 posted on 10/22/2003 7:20:51 AM PDT by Charles Henrickson (A good pun is its own reword.)
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To: mhking
Anyone know whatever happened to the Granby Idol?
26 posted on 10/22/2003 7:26:59 AM PDT by Gwaihir
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To: Fierce Allegiance
is there a Norwegian ping list? Uff da!

Are you asking me??? If there isn't, there ought to be one!

27 posted on 10/22/2003 7:41:42 AM PDT by Uff Da
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To: mhking
Eight Geats (southern Swedes) and 22 Norwegians [...]

My Grampa Hans (who came over from Stavanger about 1909) would have loved this.

Especially the part about what they called the southern Swedes.

~<]B^)

28 posted on 10/22/2003 7:42:01 AM PDT by Erasmus
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To: mhking
Did the Scandinavians beat Columbus to America twice?

Don't Care. I still get the day off.

29 posted on 10/22/2003 7:43:33 AM PDT by BSunday
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But Columbus never set foot in America! He landed in the Carribean island archepelago not the continental mainland.
30 posted on 10/22/2003 7:49:53 AM PDT by Dave Elias
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To: RipSawyer
There is controversy over what the runes mean. Some say it's old Norse alphabet (a really old version), with the date of 1012, written in a cipher. Others say that if you transpose two of the letters, you get "GLOMEDAL" or Glome's Valley" or "Eat at Glome's" or something like that. Then there's a guy who says everyone else is wrong, it's an encoded message by one of LaSalle's expedition members.

You're right, there is not much interest among the locals, most of whom think 'academia' is a nut that goes in cookies. Poor Vikings, God knows how they got to Heavener, because you almost have to intend to get there to get there.

31 posted on 10/22/2003 7:55:45 AM PDT by Treebeard
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To: mhking


32 posted on 10/22/2003 8:33:01 AM PDT by VU4G10 (Have You Forgotten?)
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To: Slicksadick; okchemyst; farmfriend; RightWhale
It would break my heart to find out that the rune stones are fake. This woman, Gloria Farley, did a lot of good, honest work in this area. She was also a close friend and associate of Dr Barry Fell.
33 posted on 10/22/2003 9:56:24 AM PDT by blam
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To: mhking; *Gods, Graves, Glyphs; Alas Babylon!; annyokie; bd476; BiffWondercat; Bilbo Baggins; ...
Gods, Graves, Glyphs
List for articles regarding early civilizations , life of all forms, - dinosaurs - etc.

Let me know if you wish to be added or removed from this ping list.

For real time political chat - Free Republic Radio chat room
And you won't miss a thread on FR because e-bot will keep you informed.

34 posted on 10/22/2003 10:01:50 AM PDT by farmfriend ( Isaiah 55:10,11)
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To: Charles Henrickson
We got a new Swede that is coming into the Radio FreeRepublic chat room. 20 year old university kid. Wooley.
35 posted on 10/22/2003 10:02:52 AM PDT by farmfriend ( Isaiah 55:10,11)
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To: farmfriend; archy
It is one of my long-time goals to eventually write a Gary Jennings-scale epic novel about the Vikings in America.

I can't decide if I will write it as a "lost expedition" narrative, or an alternative history. If I go the alternative history route, I'll have the expedition land on "fertile soil" south of New York, landing in the middle of Indian wars so that they are well-received as new allies bringing iron and horses, similar to the Spanish conquistadors' experience 500 years later.

Just imagine if North America had been settled by Vikings beginning in AD 1000! How does that sound for an epic novel!

36 posted on 10/22/2003 10:13:16 AM PDT by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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To: Thermalseeker
I always wondered how anybody could consider Columbus, or anybody else

This is not a problem. The people here did not know they were in the future America or New World. Did they refer to themselves as Native Americans or American Indians or in any way indicate they knew what this land was to become? America therefore did not exist except in fable until Columbus discovered it.

37 posted on 10/22/2003 10:23:48 AM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the Law of the Excluded Middle)
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To: okchemyst
I believe that a number of different people, including Europeans and Africans, maybe Arabs too, got here before Columbus. The date of his voyage, coming so soon after the invention of the printing press, made the critical difference in him getting the credit. He got the word out.
38 posted on 10/22/2003 10:26:29 AM PDT by twigs
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To: Travis McGee
Let me know when it comes out. I'd love to read it.
39 posted on 10/22/2003 10:55:41 AM PDT by farmfriend ( Isaiah 55:10,11)
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To: Charles Henrickson
My dad didn't get here until 1917! Go Norway!
40 posted on 10/22/2003 10:59:54 AM PDT by Marysecretary (GOD is still in control!)
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To: Fierce Allegiance
There should be! Uffda to you, too, my friend.
41 posted on 10/22/2003 11:00:31 AM PDT by Marysecretary (GOD is still in control!)
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To: farmfriend
That book, if I ever write it, will be many years in the future.
42 posted on 10/22/2003 11:24:50 AM PDT by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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To: Travis McGee
Just imagine if North America had been settled by Vikings beginning in AD 1000! How does that sound for an epic novel!

Asatruist Viking *Pilgrims* fleeing the [Christian] religious persecution of Harald Bluetooth? Sounds like a Viking Free State Project.

I seem to recall something similar in one of Clive Cussler's yarns, though I'm not certain about the First Millenia timeframe setting. And there's at least one book you might find to be of interest that's not fiction on something along those lines.

-archy-/-

43 posted on 10/22/2003 2:18:24 PM PDT by archy (Angiloj! Mia kusenveturilo estas plena da angiloj!)
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To: Fierce Allegiance
is there a Norwegian ping list? Uff da!

There's a *Suomi ping list* for Finns.

Suomi, how I love ya, how I love ya, my dear old Suomi.... -archy-/-

44 posted on 10/22/2003 2:20:58 PM PDT by archy (Angiloj! Mia kusenveturilo estas plena da angiloj!)
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To: Travis McGee
That book, if I ever write it, will be many years in the future.

I hate to mention this, but circa 1000 a.d. would be many years in the past.

-archy-/-

45 posted on 10/22/2003 2:22:17 PM PDT by archy (Angiloj! Mia kusenveturilo estas plena da angiloj!)
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To: mhking
What?!?!?! 40+ replies and no Swedish Bikini Team pics? Surely, the SBT was instrumental in the discovery and opening of the New World!
46 posted on 10/22/2003 2:33:24 PM PDT by HenryLeeII
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To: archy
Well, it has to get in line after Domestic Enemies, Foreign Enemies, and some straight adventure yarns I already have in the hopper.
47 posted on 10/22/2003 3:39:17 PM PDT by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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To: ASA Vet
This guy preceded the Asian immigrants by several centuries.

Jean Luke Pickard ?

48 posted on 10/22/2003 3:43:49 PM PDT by ATOMIC_PUNK (The difference between Los Angeles and yogurt is that yogurt comes with less fruit. -Rush Limbaugh)
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To: Travis McGee
There is at least one such book based on the rune stone. I cannot remember its name, but I read it as a kid while attending a Norwegian language camp in Minnesota. It was a darn good story about a Scandinavian expedition gone horribly wrong.
49 posted on 10/22/2003 3:50:12 PM PDT by Seydlitz
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To: Seydlitz
I'd love to read it!
50 posted on 10/22/2003 4:00:11 PM PDT by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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