Kensington Runestone


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Kensington Runestone,

much-disputed stone found (1898) on a farm near Kensington, Minn., SW of Alexandria. Inscribed on the stone in runesrunes,
ancient characters used in Teutonic, Anglo-Saxon, and Scandinavian inscriptions. They were probably first used by the East Goths (c.300), who are thought to have derived them from Helleno-Italic writing.
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 is an account of a party of Norse explorers, 14 days' journey from the sea, who camped nearby in 1362 and lost 10 of their men, presumably to Native Americans. Archaeological and philological disputes have been waged over the authenticity of the stone. Most scholars argue that the stone is a hoax, i.e., that it is of more recent origin than the 14th cent., though some accept it with the corroborative archaeological evidence. See VinlandVinland
or Wineland,
section of North America discovered by Leif Ericsson in the 11th cent. The sources for the knowledge of Leif Ericsson's exploration differ as to whether it was planned or accidental, but it is definitely known that he found a land containing grapes
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.

Bibliography

See E. Wahlgren, The Kensington Rune Stone: A Mystery Solved (1958); H. R. Holand, Norse Discoveries and Explorations in America, 982–1362 (1940, repr. 1969); T. C. Blegen, The Kensington Rune Stone (1968).

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