From: email@example.com (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?Click here to go one level up in the directory.