The Kensington Runestone

Mar 2019
nalanda was not burned by bakhtiyar khilji and neither its library set on fire and thousands of volumes burnt, the hindus were burning the buddhist volumes even before muslims arrived in india, one illustrated buddhist manuscript at cambridge university talks about buddhist manuscript destruction by the hindus.

Jul 2018

Well, folks, we knew it was only a matter of time, when the right person(s) would find something (mostly with metal detectors) and know what to do and who to talk to and make the necessary arrangements for verification and authenticity. And guess what ---- JACK POT -- enjoy. And do we have real academics stepping forward as of today with references......what do you think. AND NO, it is not iron, copper, lead, or - GASP or DOUBLE GASP - GOLD - its none of these -- its "Sterling Silver" --- the group even has done prelim metal analysis..and much more to do..and is it "modern" construct...just how silly do you think the group decide.


Phippsburg History Center

There you are, doing your thing, and you find a heavily encrusted ring-shaped item. What do you do?

That happened a little more than two weeks ago in Southern Massachusetts. A gentleman, whose hobby is metal detecting, got a hit on his detector. He and a buddy were working an area about 40-50 feet from the shoreline, wearing waders while standing in water that was estimated at between 4 ½ to 5 ½ feet deep. After a little bit of work, the artifact was brought to the surface from its finding position 1 ½ to 2 ½ feet beneath the top of the sand. The artifact was situated in a space between two adjacent rocks. There is a rocky shoal situated nearby. The shoal is close to the surface at low tide and presents a known hazard to navigation.

The encrustation covered the surface of the object, much the same way that mud coats an object pulled out of dirt. What do you do? Do you wrap the item up, place it in a box, and drive down to your local museum and ask them to wash the dirt off for you? Hardly…

You clean the dirt off to see what you actually have. The same applies to items retrieved from a lake bottom, or even out in the bay. You do some preliminary cleaning so you can figure out what you found. Which the gentleman did. Yep, it was a ring.

A ring with runic inscribed characters. Which means that you just found a huge headache. Probably a bigger headache that you could even imagine.

The Finder makes some entreaties to a scattering of academic institutions and experts, who all decline to get involved. Why? Because they are astute enough to recognized that the ring is a HEADACHE that they don’t want. It’s a smart move.

Eventually the story and some pictures find their way to the Phippsburg History Center FB page. We share the story and the pics – but without making any claim to…well, anything. It is an artifact that someone found. It is a cool find. The Finder is just that, the Finder. Nothing more, nothing less. He is engaged in his hobby. Nothing more, nothing less.

Just like Olaf Ohman out there in Minnesota was clearing his back forty of tree growth so he could put more land under cultivation when he unearthed the Kensington Rune Stone. Just like Walter Elliot who found the Spirit Pond Rune Stones while out scouring the shorelines for Native American arrowheads a few weeks after a significant Nor’Easter came through the Phippsburg, ME area.

The Finder is curious about the inscription on the ring. What does it mean? We can all understand that sentiment.
Now to the headache…as I see it.

The ring was found in a salt water environment. Silver doesn’t do well in this type of environment. It corrodes, as most metals do – unless there are other factors that slow down, or arrest the corrosion process. There looks to be some variability in how silver corrodes. Cooler water temperatures result in a slower rate of corrosion. Curators of maritime artifacts in the New England area would be the best subject matter experts to evaluate the ring’s condition against the exposure duration in the salt water environment.

Now, we can’t presume that the ring was ALWAYS in the saltwater environment. That is where it was eventually found. There are natural mechanisms (Nor’Easters and hurricanes) which transfer material from land to underwater locations. Could the ring have been previously on land, in a less corrosive environment, and then have been washed out into the water at some later point in time?

I think it is pretty fair to comment on the possibility that the ring might have been transported, and recently, from onshore to an offshore location via natural processes. This won’t be accepted by debunkers who will very likely label it “special pleading.”
The approximate metallurgical composition of the ring was determined by an XRF scan (using one instrument). The mixed composition of silver (93.58%), copper (6.22%), and lead (0.20%) correlates closely to the percent values found in sterling silver. The oldest surviving legal definition of sterling silver is from 1275 CE; a statute of King Edward I decreed that a mixture of 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals were to be used. The percentage composition, at least in England, extends a bit further back to the early part of the 12th century. It is written that there were alloy compositions for silver extending back into Saxon times of some undetermined percentages. (

The metallurgical composition creates a possible date range extending from Saxon times (5th century) up to the present era. A data point, but a headache.
The ring appears to be a one-piece casting. No seams are visually present. An X-ray analysis would confirm this.
The style of the ring is a characteristic that could be used to possibly determine a period of manufacture. The wreath on the upper lip and the tapering of the height from front to back are features which could be traced by someone knowledgeable in this area. Given that there were trade networks throughout Europe and the Middle East, these features could be aspects that originated in areas other than England/Scandinavia and then adopted as a style there.
The inscription, from a laymen’s perspective, looks to be hand-crafted and punched using some type of chisel. There appears to be one errant strike on the leg of the second rune on the outside of the ring. Examination by a subject matter expert in engraving would, utilizing diagnostic tools of the trade, would be illuminating.

The runic characters correlate to the characters found in both the Elder Futhark and Anglo-Saxon runic alphabets. The glyphs are pretty straightforward to transliterate, and then to translate into Latin. We’ll let the runologists do it…it’s their tradecraft. I am sure they will run the sequence of letters in their respective runic inscription databases to see if a pattern match exists that would help with the translation.

The three gylphs on the interior of the ring look to have vertical framing lines. An interesting feature, not necessarily diagnostic, but interesting, nonetheless. The three glyph count correlates to the COUNT of glyphs found on the interior of SOME of the limited, but surviving historical inventory of rings with runic inscriptions.
There is actually a Catch-22 on runic artifacts. Of course, this only applies to artifacts found in North America.

The first scenario is that there are aspects of the inscription which matches other runic inscriptions. This scenario automatically defaults to the pre-confirmation bias that the artifact is a HOAX. Why? Because the HOAXER used the available literature to craft the runic artifact. That is, unless you are the originator of the KRS and SPR and were too stupid to perpetrate your hoax using the available runic literature. Think about that for a bit…

The second scenario is that the artifact, in this case the ring, doesn’t have a sequence of runes which correspond to what is available in the existing literature or databases. These cases are unique, because if the translation doesn’t match anything in the existing historical runic corpus, then it gets rejected from being authentic. In this case, the HOAXER out-smarted himself by creating a unique inscription. And since the ring was found in North America, it then gets classified as a hoax.

If you don’t believe this scenario, watch how this one plays out…
I would venture that the material condition will be assessed closely. Of course, that presumes that an expert in this field even looks at the ring. The ring shows signs of corrosive pitting, of what duration I can’t say. As mentioned before, I don’t think it is a valid presumption that the ring spent its entire life sitting in saltwater as there are mechanisms that could have transported it from a non-saltwater environment to where it was found. Of course, the debunkers will point this out in asserting their argument that the ring was “salted” into the saltwater environment.

Should anyone have the expectation that some expert will pronounce the ring to be Medieval Era authentic and then extend that conclusion to encompass some pre-Columbian exploration of North America. Likely not.

If the “experts” can send the Newport Tower through a time machine and make it to be a Colonial era construction representing: a) Benedict Arnold’s clubhouse or b) his wonderfully benevolent windmill that saved the plantation of Newport from famine…then this ring is small potatoes.

Or a headache

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