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Old May 3rd, 2010, 08:14 PM   #21
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Re: The Kensington Runestone


You are entitled to your opinion. As I said, the waterway from the Hudson Bay south into Minnesota could have been a lot deeper and broader. This is a thousand years ago, and a lot could have changed. If there were no shallow water all the way to Alexandria, would that change your opinion? The climate could have been more temperate. And voyages lasting several years are not uncommon in seafaring history. Men are also motivated by sheer adventure and the thrill of discovery.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 03:54 AM   #22

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Re: The Kensington Runestone


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You are entitled to your opinion. As I said, the waterway from the Hudson Bay south into Minnesota could have been a lot deeper and broader. This is a thousand years ago, and a lot could have changed. If there were no shallow water all the way to Alexandria, would that change your opinion? The climate could have been more temperate. And voyages lasting several years are not uncommon in seafaring history. Men are also motivated by sheer adventure and the thrill of discovery.
Nothing that you have cited is capable of changing my mind.

The only men that are motivated by sheer adventure and discovery are those with the resources and wherewithal to be able to afford the time. I'm having trouble fitting Vikings into that picture.

Have you ever seen a picture of the runestone? It is an item of fairly precise stone carving that must have required 2 or more weeks to complete.

An accepted translation of the stone says:

Mr. Holand translated the stone and found it to read,
"8 Goths and 22 Norweigans on exploration journey from Vinland over the west. We camp by 2 skerries one day-journey from this stone. We were and fished one day. After we came home, 10 men red with blood and tourtured. Hail Virgin Mary, save from evil. Have 10 men by the sea to look after our ship, 14 day -journeys from this island year 1362."

Now picture this, 30 Vikings set off from Vinland. They make an extremely improbable journey for the sheer thrill of it. More than halfway around Hudson Bay, they anchor, sail up a dinky river, whatever. 10 stay with the ship and the other 20 travel 14 days inland. Of those 20, half that complement are killed by natives. So what do the remaining 10 Vikings do, they agree to hang around while the only experienced rune stone carver that ever left evidence that he traveled with Vikings spends two or more weeks carving a runestone to be found 500 years later to prove that they were there before Columbus.

That is the natural human reaction to that sort of situation. It surely explains why there are so many runestones strewn across the globe.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 07:32 AM   #23

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Re: The Kensington Runestone


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I'm having trouble fitting Vikings into that picture.
.
Just trying to put it into a proper context without attempting to change your mind. In 1362, there weren't any traditional Vikings as I am perceiving your meaning. Since they would not be pagan Viking, but rather Christian Scandanavians, there is the possibilty that a different motivation would exist rather than simple adventure and booty. What that might possibly be, I couldn't speculate on.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 08:48 AM   #24

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Re: The Kensington Runestone


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Just trying to put it into a proper context without attempting to change your mind. In 1362, there weren't any traditional Vikings as I am perceiving your meaning. Since they would not be pagan Viking, but rather Christian Scandanavians, there is the possibilty that a different motivation would exist rather than simple adventure and booty. What that might possibly be, I couldn't speculate on.
I am aware of that okamido. I was trying to reconcile the translation that I used of the stone that refers to home base of the stone's originators as being Vinland. Vinland is a term coined by Erik the Red, a real Viking, sometime around the year 1000. The 350 year difference between the time of Erik, Vinland and the date inscribed on the Kensington stone is a point that I've chosen to ostrich. Also Vikings is the more common term.

I intentionally kept my argument confined to the much over looked human nature aspect of the expedition (and history). Along the lines of people who look at battlefield maps and think generals move troops like chess pieces, each and every one moving its alloted distance every turn, and then conclude that this battle could have be won if......

My foray into the thread was to point out the sheer implausibility of what men would have to have done and endured to place the stone in Kensington. The crew would have had to suspend all reason and sense to make the trip. If it was found as much as 30 miles inland from the Atlantic coast, anywhere north of Virginia Beach, I would be a believer. Or even a similar distance from the Hudson or Delaware rivers, and maybe even some of the lesser rivers. But Minnesota?

I give men credit for doing what would be in their best interest for their safety and survival. Or at least balance risk and reward, with the reward being either real or imagined. And I conclude that Norse seamen in 1362 would have decided that there would be no reward in the vicinity of Hudson bay, long before they reached the point of the dubious river access to Minnesota.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 10:10 PM   #25

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Re: The Kensington Runestone


May I suggest that it may not have taken 2 weeks to make a runestone?
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Old May 5th, 2010, 02:14 AM   #26

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Re: The Kensington Runestone


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May I suggest that it may not have taken 2 weeks to make a runestone?
You are welcome to.

Do you have any information or personal experience? All I have to go on are the photographs of the stone and my experiences of estimating jobs.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 03:13 PM   #27

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Re: The Kensington Runestone


Well, I'm not a sculptor, but my Uncle is. He uses marble, mainly, and I know it's way softer than slate, especially the slate which the runes are written on... I mean, it still bears glacial markings, so it's not that easy to weather - or rather, it's been sitting in a place where the weathering has been very gradual. Nevertheless, slate is still relatively easy to manipulate mechanically.

The runes aren't all that deeply cut: deep enough to last, but not deeper than necessary. The number of runes on the stone appear to indicate a significant amount of labour, yes, but how that labour was divided is unknown. Did only one person work on the stone, or many? Did they have techniques or methods which we may be overlooking? Something as simple as deciding which order to cut the strokes in may greatly affect the time and effort needed. For instance, mapping out all the vertical strokes and cutting them first, as opposed to cutting one rune at a time.

Just some ideas.

EDIT: The slate in question apparently has a significant amount of Mica.

Last edited by DiaitaDoc; May 5th, 2010 at 04:23 PM.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 03:07 AM   #28

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Re: The Kensington Runestone


Interesting DiaitaDoc.

Would it be possible to get your Uncle's opinion on the time required to carve the stone?
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Old May 6th, 2010, 08:18 AM   #29
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Re: The Kensington Runestone


"My foray into the thread was to point out the sheer implausibility of what men would have to have done and endured to place the stone in Kensington. The crew would have had to suspend all reason and sense to make the trip. If it was found as much as 30 miles inland from the Atlantic coast, anywhere north of Virginia Beach, I would be a believer. Or even a similar distance from the Hudson or Delaware rivers, and maybe even some of the lesser rivers. But Minnesota?"

What type of historian are you, anyway? Fifty years ago, would you have believed that a comet wiped out the dinosaurs? Two hundred years ago, would you have believed that dinosaurs even existed? History is riff with examples of outwardly "implausible" events that research and discoveries find out are not only plausible, but actually happened. That the land was lower, or the water levels higher, one thousand years ago in my mind is very plausible.
Even if they didn't take the Red River from Hudson's Bay, it is an easy connection for the eastern seaboard to the great lakes, getting the Vikings to the Mississippi River by that route. The longships were designed to be dragged along the ground on long portages using logs as runners. Examples of this are seen in Russia, where the Swedish Vikings settled, making it as far south as Arabia.

I've heard Edrat's opinion as a historian on the geology of a thousand years ago. Now, I would like to hear from a geologist.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 08:42 AM   #30

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Re: The Kensington Runestone


I'll try to get a hold of my uncle and post whatever extra info he has.

A quick word on North American Geology: let's talk about the ice age.

When the latter part of the last ice age, known as the Wisconsin Stage, began receding about 13,000 years ago, the ice was 3-4km thick and extended down to 45 degrees latitude. That's a heck of a lot of Ice!

The ice itself was so heavy that it depressed the ground. When the ice melted, the weight was removed, allowing the ground to rebound. Rock is dense and not very speedy though, so it's rebounding quite slowly.

Since the ice has receded (current estimates put the glacier's disappearance at around 7,000 BC,) the great lakes provinces and states have been rising in altitude by about 30cm every 100 years. We actually feel this happening every so often... most of our earthquakes in the region are due to this rebounding effect.

Counting back to the 1300s, the land on which the runestone rests would have been at least 2 meters lower than it is now. That's more than enough for waterways to alter course significantly, and more than once to boot.

Last edited by DiaitaDoc; May 6th, 2010 at 11:04 AM.
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