From: yuku@globalserve.net (Yuri Kuchinsky)
Newsgroups: sci.archaeology,soc.culture.nordic
Subject: why KRS cannot be a forgery
Date: 13 Aug 1998 00:31:10 GMT

Greetings,

These discussions are now becoming a little silly. The most outlandish and
baseless rumours are being dragged in with a serious face by some posters
who are obviously scraping the bottom of the barrel to try to salvage the
archaeological establishment's tarnished reputation. "Somebody said that
two Swedes bought a chisel many years ago somewhere near Kensington" --
and therefore this must be a forgery? Don't you people see how silly this
sounds? Don't you have any self-respect? What kinds of historians are you?

Don't you see that such pathetic "evidence" can only be counter-productive
in the end? If anything, this will ultimately serve as evidence _for_ KRS
authenticity -- if this is the best that can be done on your side!

Archaeological establishment in recent decades obviously felt a strong
need to get rid of KRS, to sweep it under the rug. The Stone is just too
uncomfortable for them. It opens up all kinds of unwanted avenues for
further investigation -- not too good for an average self-content and
rather lazy academic historian. Lots of academic reputations may be
tarnished somewhat...

And so they've regularly and consistently employed unethical means to
achieve their desired end. The result is history and the scientific method
denied. This is the betrayal of science.

Read Blegen's book. His argument is fallacious from the word go. Over and
over again he repeats dishonestly this mantra of his, his clear
misrepresentation of how "all expert runologists" see KRS. "Since we are
dealing with an inscription that runologists say is fraudulent..." (p. 36)
He constantly implies that expert runologists, in one voice, declared KRS
unauthentic. But this is quite simply a lie.

Blegen's reasoning is plainly fallacious. Here's he again with his oft
repeated mantra,

"In recent times expert runologists analysing the inscription have
declared it to be "modern", as did Breda and Curme in 1899 and Flom in
1910. If so, one or more "modern" persons must have devised the wording
and chiselled the symbols." (p. 102)

Please examine his reasoning above. "_If_ KRS is a forgery, _then_ we must
find the forger". False premise creates a fallacious argument right from
the start. And on he goes to weave the most paranoid of conspiracy plots,
gratuitously slandering any number of innocent people to fill this
pressing need for a forger.

I've already given my proof of why Kensington Rune Stone cannot be a
forgery. 

PROOF:                                                                    
                                                                          
There are only two possibilities to choose from.  

A) KRS is authentic.
                                                                          
B) It is an extremely sophisticated forgery produced by a highly competent 
medievalist; s/he had to be both a philologist, as well as an epigrapher. 
                                                                          
No such medievalist was ever found anywhere close to Kensington MN, ca.  
1898, or before. All the locals were very well known to each other. There
were no mysterious strangers in the area.
                                                                          
Thus the answer is A. KRS is authentic.  

Now, I would like to add some more substantiation to my proof.

My proof is based primarily on the complexity of KRS inscription. Many
people don't realize just how complex the inscription is. This is because
most of the arguments in Hall and Nilsestuen, as reported in sci.arch,
have been focusing primarily on showing that the inscription is consistent
with the existing body of medieval runic inscriptions. Their goal was to
demonstrate that all KRS runes are attested elsewhere. 

Of course, I accept the results of these investigations by Hall, Nielsen,
and Nilsestuen. They have now proven that KRS is in line with existing
evidence, with the known evidence.

But my goal here will be different, because I will show how these KRS
runes are _not known_. They are not well known now, and they were even
less known in the 19th century.

So I will consider two items. The unusual KRS runes, and the numerals.


THE RUNES

Of course any forger who wants to forge an ancient inscription will likely
work primarily from the existing reference materials. In other words, such
forger would have been likely to use only known runes. It is extremely
unlikely that a forger would have been foolhardy enough to try to invent
new runes. This, after all, is a sure way to get caught.

So why are the runes of KRS so unusual then? Here's a summary from Hall
(1982, p. 25),

"The runes for f, d, r, h, I, s, t, b, m, l appear on the Kensington Stone
in virtually their "classical" shapes and functions ... Rather than the
five standard runes for o, k, n, a, y ... the Kensington Stone uses five
more or less aberrant runes. In addition to these, the Kensington
inscription manifests seven more characters, for e, o^, a^ [I use ^ for
umlauts], p, g, j, and w for phonemes (distinctive sounds) which existed
in medieval Swedish and Norwegian but found no representation in the
16-rune futhork."

So what does this mean? It means that KRS uses only 9 regular runes, 5
irregular runes, and 7 more irregular runes of another type. So this
stacks up as 9 regular, and 12 irregular and/or unexpected runes.

Do I need to remind readers here that the main reason KRS was first
rejected by the academic establishment was precisely because of these
weird-looking (to them) runes? These professional runologists, both in US
and in Scandinavia had never seen such runes before!

But _all of these runes_ have been discovered in obscure medieval
manuscripts and inscriptions, and attested gradually as 99 years went by.
So how could this "mythical KRS forger" know that these unusual runes will
be discovered in later times? Psychically? Are we getting into Psychic
Archaeology stuff here, or what?

And what a coincidence that the whole three of these "weird-looking" runes
were later described on a runestone from Greenland? Yes, I know Tom K. has
been trying to minimize this very uncomfortable (for him) fact, but the
truth must be faced from time to time, Tom.


THE NUMERALS

Numerals used on KRS are very unusual. So much so, that many professional
Scandinavian scholars 99 years ago, like Prof. Breda, could not even read
them at first.

At this time, all doubts about the external attestation of these numerals
have been put to rest because of hard and painstaking research by Holand,
Nielsen, and others.

But even as far back as in 1958, the famous Scandinavian scholar Prof.
Wahlgren, the main KRS critic, was still raising vociferous objections
about the numerals, and using them as part of his "proof" that KRS was a
forgery!

Here's a quote from Nilsestuen (1994, p. 106),

"...Wahlgren (1958, 117-19) was still claiming that the date 1362 could
not have been written in runes."

Also, he adds that Wahlgren was still objecting in 1958 that the KRS
numeral 10 could not be authentic (p. 107). Birgitta Wallace, another
mainstream scholar, was claiming the same still in 1985. This numeral 10
has been since authenticated by Nielsen.

So how could the "mythical KRS forger" know that these unusual numerals
will be discovered gradually in later years? Psychically?


CONCLUSION

It is completely clear now that, as an absolute minimum, we must conclude
that a person who could "forge" KRS must have been a highly competent
scholar with at least a PhD in both medieval Scandinavian philology, and
runology.

(The much more realistic conclusion of course should be that such a
forgery could not have been done at all at that time. Period. But let's
stay with our "absolute minimum", for argument's sake.)

So where was such a person in Kensington, MN, a hundred years ago? 

So far our ham-handed debunkers found Fogelblad, the man who actually died
before KRS was discovered. Fogelblad had a University education, you
see... He was a minister once... 

But, sorry, folks, we're not looking for a hard-drinking ex-clergyman with
a giant personal library of maybe half a dozen volumes. We're looking for
a PhD in both medieval Scandinavian philology and runology, with access to
a library of hundreds of specialized publications -- since this is what
would have been necessary to accomplish a forgery of such sophistication.

Well, my friends, until such time as you find such a one in Kensington MN
hundred years ago, all your "Fantastic Archaeology", and half-baked
conspiracy theories will remain just that...

Regards,

Yuri.

Yuri Kuchinsky -=O=- http://www.globalserve.net/~yuku  UPDATED

If ignorance is bliss, why aren't there more happy people?



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