Nominations:Kensington Runestone

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The Kensington Runestone is one of the most significant artifacts found in North America. It has been written about and studied by many throughout the world. Whether to view the stone or the discovery site, many tourists visit this part of the state each year to learn more about the Kensington Runestone and those who inscribed it. With the recent publication of the language and geological testing reported by Nielsen and Wolter, it is expected that even more interest in the stone will be generated. The Runestone's story can be told from many different views: the tragic story of Olof Ohman and his descendants, the mistakes made by ommission and perhaps commission by some of the early researchers, the myths and rumors that were promulgated and still exist, etc.
~Melvin E. Conrad, Kensington, MN

The Runestone is the single most significant archeological find in the region. It proves that Minnesota--specifically Kensington--was a possible destination for the Viking expeditions. It has never been truly discredited, though speculation does exist.
~Timothy G. Zilliox, Mora, MN

Fact or fiction, the story of the Kensington Runestone solidifies a romantic connection for many Minnesotans' Scandinavian heritage. And it may also show the world our dry sense of humor!
~Rick Clark, Chaska, MN

The Kensington Runestone was the proof that Columbus was not the first to discover America. There were Norsemen who walked our shores before Columbus and the predominately northern European settlers of this area were very proud of that fact. Whether it is authentic or fake it still remains a focal point for our state, our country and the world as the Birthplace of America.
~David P. Morse, Anoka, MN

The Kensington Runestone, despite MHS and Ted Blegen's disdain, finds new validity to its genuineness. Recent research and investigation shows that the Runestone, showing Norsemen, came to Minnesota in 1362, actually happened.

Richard Nielsen and Scott F. Wolter demonstrate that the runes match Scandinavian runes available in the 14th Century and that the dating of the stone is consistent with the reported finding of it in the late 1800s in Minnesota. Much of their findings refute Professor Blegen's and the MHS's skepticism of the stone.

Nevertheless, the study of the stone, its controversy, and the refusal of MHS to consider its genuineness all make for a piece of an interesting and monumental flyer into the people, geography and legend of Minnesota.
~Neil Simonson, Morris, MN

For better or worse, the Kensington Runestone is unequivocally linked to the history and image of Minnesota.

Its discovery in the late 18th century was so difficult for archaeologists to accept that several of them resorted to extreme and sometimes unethical means to discredit it. To this day, it is still considered common knowledge that it is a hoax. Despite the fact that each justification for the hoax claim has been soundly discredited, it is only in the last decade or so that the Kensington Runestone has begun to gain acceptance from mainstream archaeologists. A significant irony of the incident is that many of the grammatical anomalies that were pointed out by the experts as evidence of a hoax have since been shown to be valid for the time period of the stone. These anomalies now act as proof that it could not have been forged. At the time the stone was found, not even the world's leading experts knew that the grammar used in the inscription was correct. As things turned out, much of the justification for the grammar of the stone has been found in documents that were already in museums when the stone was found. They just weren't adequately studied until recently.

Several geological examinations of the stone have all concluded that the stone is authentic. No geologist has ever reported any evidence that the stone was forged.

Given the high portion of Minnesotans of Scandinavian heritage, it seems somehow appropriate, that 14th-century Norse explorers would leave this significant, historical artifact here, where it would eventually be found by a later generation of Norse immigrants.
~Reid Isberg, Minnetonka, MN

Found on Olof farm in Kensington. This was proof America was discovered before Columbus.
~Scott Torvi, St. Paul, MN

The Vikings were in North America before Columbus -and first here in Minnesota!
~Richard Gabatino, Minneapolis, MN

While I'm sure that other people will submit this, I decided to do it just to be sure. Whether or not the stone that Olaf Ohman said he found in 1898 is real or a hoax, it has caused endless debate and generated numerous books and articles. As you know, the discussion still continues today. And just think---if it had not been discovered our professional football team might be called the Minnesota Voyageurs.
~Steve Trimble, St. Paul, MN

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