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The Heavener Rune Stone: Viking Age Artefact or a Modern-Day Creation1

In the foothills of the Poteau Mountains in southeast Oklahoma, there stands a large slab of Savanna sandstone, 12 high x 10 wide and 1 ! thi"k, on whi"h a runi" ins"ri#tion has been "arved$ %he ins"ri#tion "onsists of eight runes, ranging from &' in"hes tall, in"reasing in si(e in"rementall) from left to right$ %he s)mbols found on this ins"ri#tion do not a##ear in an) writing s)stem used b) indigenous #eo#les from this area$ *or do the) belong to an) of the languages s#oken b) the native tribes, who were resettled in Oklahoma during the %rail of %ears$ +1,-0s.$ In fa"t, there is a solid "onsensus among s"holars who stud) runes and older /ermani" languages, that the ins"ri#tion "onforms to the runi" tradition of northern and "entral 0uro#e in the earl) Middle 1ges$

The Heavener Inscription (authors file)

%he eight runes of the 4eavener ins"ri#tion, with one #ossible ex"e#tion, belong to the 0lder, or /ermani" 5uthark a s)stem of writing used in S"andinavia and on mainland 0uro#e, from the 2nd 6 ,th "entur) 12$ %he se"ond rune ma) be a variation of 7*8 in the 0lder 5uthark, or as some have argued, a retrograde variant 738$ +reverse image. %he form of this rune also "orres#onds to an 718 rune in the short&twig version of the 9ounger futhark, whi"h a""ording to the runologist Mi"harl :arnes +;unes< 1 4andbook, 2012. indi"ates a later dating of the ins"ri#tion, sin"e this runi" form first "ame into use in the ,th "entur) in S"andinavia$2 %he

ins"ri#tion, thus has several #ossible readings$ If the se"ond rune is viewed as a rune belonging to the 9ounger 5u=ark-, then< /&*&O&M&0&2&1&3 is the reading, or /&1&O&M&0&2&1&%, if the last rune is also #er"eived as belonging to the sim#lified verison of the 9ounger 5u=ark$ > If one is in"lined to read all the runes as 0lder 5u=ark runes +or variants thereof. with some runes being read retrograde, then< /&3&O&M&0&2&1&3$? 1 fourth #ossibilit) whi"h has gained little a""e#tan"e among s"holars and other runi" enthusiasts, is to read the entire ins"ri#tion from right to left, as was sometimes done in medieval S"andinavia$ In this wa) we get a transliteration of< 3&1&2&0&M&O&*&/$ +Paul @ha#man, 1', . For too ong ti!e thi" runic in"cri#tion ha" $een ignored $y "#ecia i"t" in the fie d" of ingui"tic"% runo ogy and o der &er!anic anguage"' Main y% thi" ha" to do (ith the #erceived i!#o""i$i ity that Viking" or "o!eone e "e (ith kno( edge of the"e rune" cou d have trave ed "o far into the interior of the )orth A!erican continent at "uch an ear y date *#re-+,,-' A though there e.i"t other rune "tone" and runic

in"cri#tion" in )orth A!erica% none have yet $een e"ta$ i"hed conc u"ive y a" authentic% and !o"t are con"idered to $e either hoa.e"% fraud"% co#ie" of other rune "tone"% or cu tura artefact" (hich i!!igrant" $rought (ith the! (hen they re"ett ed

here during the 10th century'

1.ce#tion" to thi" are the !any authentic runic

in"cri#tion" dating to the ti!e of the )or"e co ony on &reen and *AD 0+2- 3-' 4 5erha#" the $e"t kno(n e.a!# e i" the 16 th century 7ingig"u8torra8 in"cri#tion di"overed on the north(e"t coa"t of &reen and% (hich (a" carved ong after the #ur#orted date a"cri$ed to the Heavener Rune "tone' *ear y 16th century-'+ & oria Far ey0% an a!ateur runo ogi"t and "e f-taught e#igra#hi"t% 1, (a" o$"e""ed "ince chi dhood (ith the idea that Viking" !ight have carved thi" rune "tone in 9k aho!a' For decade" "he ca!#aigned tire e"" y for recognition of the Heavener "tone a" a te"ta!ent to Viking e.# oration into the interior of the )orth A!erican continent' Her #ro!otiona ca!#aign re"u ted !o"t "ignificant y in the #re"ervation of the "tone in situ at it" #re"ent ocation in Heavener Rune"tone 5ark :(here it (a" fir"t "een $y oca $ear hunter" near y 16, year" ago' 11 ;hi e her detai ed re"earch into the origin" of the in"cri#tion and hi"tory of the "tone are a "o to $e co!!ended% Far ey (a" una$ e to re"o ve fu y the i""ue" of the Heavener "tone<" authenticity a" a Viking artefect #rior to her unti!e y death in March of 2,,=' >nti recent y% the on y una!$iguou" evidence (e had of Viking e.# oration or "ett e!ent in the ?)e( ;or d@ dated to around 1,,, A D (hen% according to the Vinland Sagas%12 Aeifur 1irAk"on e"ta$ i"hed a Viking $a"e ca!# on the northea"t coa"t of )orth A!erica% at the "ite of A<an"e au. Meadeau. in )e(found and' 1/ ;hether thi" )or"e out#o"t (a" the actua "ite of Aeif 1irik""on<" Vin and ha" $een 8ue"tioned% e"#ecia y in ight of the recent di"covery of a "econd )or"e "ett e!ent" on Baffin C" and' 16 But the 8ue"tion here i": did the Viking" a "o trave to 9k aho!a in the ear y Midd e Age"% "o!e 2,, year" #rior to Aeif<" e.# oration of Vin and3 12 Ho( i" thi" #o""i$ e3 Recent y C intervie(ed Dr'

Richard )ie "en% one of the fir"t tran" ator" of the Heavener Cn"cri#tion" and graduate of the Coa"t &uard Acade!y% in regard" to the #o""i$ e route of Viking e.# orer" co!ing to 9k aho!a' Hi" "tate!ent fo o(": By the 0th century the navigationa "ki " of the Viking" (ou d have a o(ed the! *Viking"- to reach the Strait" of F orida via the "outhern coa"ta current" *at an average "#eed of 2 knotDhr' fro! Baffin C" and to the F orida Strait" at the 7ey"-' Cngre"" via the Mi""i""i##i River and the Arkan"a" River $a"in (ou d have given the! ea"y acce"" to ea"tern 9k aho!a via the Arkan"a" river *a ong the recogniEed trading rout of the native" iving there at the ti!e'-F the northern gu f Strea!% (ho"e current" a##roach near the coa"t of Cce and% cou d have a o(ed a ra#id return to Cce and after eaving G"ic: theH &u f of Me.ico and entering the At antic'1= ;hi e (e have itt e archeo ogica evidence to "u##ort thi" theory% (e a "o cannot ru e it out co!# ete y% "ince (e kno( that the Viking" had the techno ogica ca#a$i ity% (ith their ong"hi#"% to trave u# and do(n a $ut the "!a e"t of river"' Ct ha" $een (e e"ta$ i"hed $y hi"torian" that Viking" trave ed far into the interior of 1a"tern 1uro#e% the Midd e 1a"t and Ru""ia in the 0 th century $y !ean" of the !aIor river "y"te!"' 14 Certain y they could have trave ed to 9k aho!a in the + th or 0th century' 5ro$ e!atic i" the #aucity of e.tra ingui"tic evidence that they ever did trave to 9k aho!a' And ingui"tic or runic evidence i" on y re ia$ e% (hen (e have a kno(n date for the carving event% or can e"ta$ i"h that #articu ar runic for!" cou d not have $een co#ied fro! !odern or recent #u$ ication"' >n e""% and unti (e find "u##orting archaeo ogica evidence of a Viking #re"ence in 9k aho!a% or e"ta$ i"h conc u"ive y an ear ier dating

for the carving of the in"cri#tion% there (i re!ain "eriou" 8ue"tion" regarding the authenticity of the Heavener in"cri#tion' Cn the 2,11 i""ue of Epigraphic Society Occasional Papers *1S95- the

archaeo ogi"t Ay e Tho!#"en conducted an in de#th ana y"i" of the Heavener Stone% together (ith the other rune "tone" found in the area% *the 5oteau Rune Stone% the Sha(nee Rune Stone% Heavener 2 and Heavener /-% (ith the intent to deter!ine (hether the"e in"cri#tion" !ight $e of Viking origin' He conc uded that a of the"e e.ce#t the $ig Heavener Stone *1- are in a ike yhood co#ie"% *or fake"-% and that they (ere carved in !odern ti!e"' Regarding the Heavener *C-% he doe" not di"!i"" it" authenticity outright% c ai!ing% ?there i" nothing in the Scandinavian runic cor#u" that definitive y negate" the Heavener "tone a" a Viking re!nant'@ 1+ He doe"% ho(ever% find it !ore #ro$a$ e that the "tone (a" carved in the ate nineteenth century% and not during the Viking Age% or ear ier' Aike !any other "cho ar" To!#"en di"regard" the ora tradition of the Chocta( Cndian" in 9k aho!a% (here it i" re#orted that the in"cri#tion (a" fir"t di"covered during their arriva in the 1+/,<"' Shou d thi" ora tradition ever $e verified% To!#"en<" #re"u!#tion that the Heavener Stone (a" carved $y S(edi"h i!!igrant" *rai road (orker"- in the ate 10 th ear y 2,th century cannot ho d u#' 9f cour"e it i" difficu t to arrive at conc u"ion" acce#ta$ e to the acade!ic co!!unity% $a"ed "o e y on the evidence of ora tradition' But C (ou d !aintain that "uch evidence "hou d a "o not $e di"counted co!# ete y and de"erve" further inve"tigation' S#ecia i"t" in the "tudy of ora tradition in #re iterate "ocietie" genera y agree that !o"t ora tradition contain" "o!e core e e!ent of truth'

Cn the "a!e vo u!e of 1S95 (here To!#"en<" artic e a##ear"% Bart Tor$ert argue" the ca"e for vie(ing the 9k aho!a Rune Stone" *"#ecifica y the Heavener 1- a" ?authentica y ancient'@10 He right y #oint" out "eriou" f a(" in Tor$ert<" argu!entation"% a" (e a" factua error"' He note" To!#"en<" "e ective u"e of the evidence #rovided $y Far ey% in her $ook In Plain Sight. S#ecifica y% he #oint" to To!#"en<" di"regard for the affadavit" of (itne""e" te"tifying to the e.i"tence of the "tone in the 1+4,<"% a" (e a" hi" fai ure to con"ider the #otentia evidence of the native ora tradition' 2, Tor$ert c ai!" that there e.i"t" no #ro#er e#igra#hic conte.t to "u##ort To!#"en<" "u##o"ition that a Scandinavian rai road (orker (orking in 9k aho!a cou d have carved the in"cri#tion in the ate 10 th century' *Cn other (ord"% it i" un ike y and un#roven that the"e (orker"% even if they e.i"ted% (ou d have had the kno( edge of the rune" at their di"#o"a % or the o##ortunity or !otivation to carve the!'- Cn addition Tor$ert argue" that the irregu aritie"% and incon"i"tencie" in the runic for!" #rovide evidence for the authenticity of the "tone% rather than again"t it% "ince in thi" ti!e #eriod *+ th centurythere e.i"ted no "tandardiEed runic a #ha$et in the !odern "en"e' ;e find in"tead !uch variation a!ong rune "tone carver"% a" (e a" individua ideo"yncracie"% and te.t" (hich ref ect dia ectica and regiona variation' Cf (e #o"it a !odern-day carver (ho !ight $e co#ying fro!% or have earned hi" rune" fro! $ook" #u$ i"hed in the 10 th century% then (e (ou d e.#ect !ore con"i"tency a!ong the for!"% "ince a carver (ou d not $e inc ined to co#y the unu"ua or variant for!"' 21 A though Tor$ert !ake" a good ca"e again"t !any of To!#"en<" argu!ent" for a !odern- day #rovenance of the "tone% he a "o over"tate" hi" o(n conc u"ion (hen c ai!" that that Heavener Stone

cannot $e fro! the ate 10th century and therefore !u"t $e ?authentica y ancient@ dating it to the $eginning of the Viking Age' *+ th century-22 Cn 9cto$er of 2,1, a reno(ned "cho ar and "#ecia i"t in runic in"cri#tion"% Dr' Henrik ;i ia!" fro! >##"a a >niver"ity *in S(eden- conducted a for!a "tudy of the Heavener Rune Stone a" #art of hi" )orth A!erican Runic Tour' Thi" tri# took hi! and hi" co eague Richard )ie "en to the "ite of runic in"cri#tion" in "evera "tate"% to the 7en"ington Rune Stone in Minne"ota% the S#irit 5ond Rune Stone in Maine and the Heavener Rune Stone in 9k aho!a' The "ignificance of Dr' ;i ia!"< vi"it to the 9k aho!a "tone can hard y $e over"tated% "ince the Heavener "tone ha" ong $een con"idered un(orthy of "tudy $y acade!ic"% (ho !o"t often di"!i"" it a" a fake% or a hoa. carved in !odern ti!e"' 1veryone kno(" that S(eden i" the ho!e of the rune"% can $e heard fro! the !aIority of runo ogi"t" and !o"t think it<" "i!# y i!#o""i$ e that that anyone (ith kno( edge of runic ore cou d have trave ed to 9k aho!a in the + th century' Dr' ;i ia!"% ho(ever% take" a different a##roach% and $e ieve" that rune

"tone" in )orth A!erica : even if they #rove to $e !odern-day creation"- are "ti (orthy of "tudy' During the ecture at )orthea"tern 9k aho!a >niver"ity in 9cto$er of 2,1, Dr' ;i ia!" re!arked that that A runic in"cri#tion" de"erve to $e in"#ected $y #rofe""iona runo ogi"t"%

inc uding A!erican one"F' At #re"ent there i" no "uch #er"on% no "uch runo ogi"t in thi" countryF or on thi" continent' *2,1,Aike Dr' ;i ia!"% C de# ore the ack of trained "#ecia i"t" in thi" country (ho are 8ua ified to "tudy the"e in"cri#tion"% and (ou d advocate for the invo ve!ent of

acade!ic" in unrave ing the !y"terie" of the"e "tone"% regard e"" of (hether they are thought have a !edieva or !odern #rovenance' 1ven if the in"cri#tion" are e"ta$ i"hed to $e carved in !odern ti!e"% a" in the ca"e of the recent y tran" ated 7an"a" City rune "tone%2/ their va ue a" a #iece of A!ericana% and the in"ight they #rovide into i!!igrant ife in A!erica i" inva ua$ e% and certain y of great intere"t to oca hi"torian"% a!ong other"' C (a" fortunate to have #artici#ated (ith !y "tudent" in Dr' ;i ia!" ?Me""age" in Stone@ tour% (hich $rought hi! to the Heavener Rune Stone on 9cto$er /% 2,1,' At the "ite (e (ere a$ e to e.a!ine the rune "tone c o"e u#% fro! $ehind the #rotective g a""% in order to deter!ine the #reci"e for!" of the rune"' Dr' ;i ia!<" reaction after e.a!ining the rune" (a" 8uite #o"itive' During hi" ecture the ne.t day at )orthea"tern 9k aho!a >niver"ity he "tated that the Heavener rune" (ere ?very (e -!ade@ andF ? ooked nice'@26 He identified the rune"% (ith one #o""i$ e e.ce#tion% a" $e onging to the very o de"t of the runic a #ha$et"% the 1 der Futhark% (hich he e!#ha"iEed (ere very rare' 9f the eight rune" on the in"cri#tion% he !entioned on y the "econd rune *reading fro! eft to right- a" a #otentia "ource for #ro$ e!"% "ince there "ee!ed to $e "evera reading" for it' Dr' ;i ia!"<" #reference i" to read thi" rune a" a retrograde variant of the G)H rune in the 1 der Futhark% (hich yie d" the !odern )or(egian (ord: ?&no!eda @% !eaning a ? itt e va ey@ or ?#oor va ey%@ or #erha#" ?gno!e va ey'@ 22 Another reading u"ing an G)H in the "econd #o"itionH% fir"t #ro#o"ed $y A" ak Aie"to over 2, year" ago% yie d" the !odern )or(egian na!e: &' )o!!eda % (ith the na!e )o!!eda $eing atte"ted to a" the na!e of a far! in Agder% )or(ay' 2= Ay e Tho!#"en% in hi" e.a!ination of recent te e#hone directorie" in "outhern )or(ay #rovided further

"u##ort for reading the "econd rune a" G)H% (hen he found 21 entrie" for the na!e )o!eda % and additiona e.a!# e" in the 10,, cen"u" in Co(a' 24 >nfortunate y hi" "earch for the na!e )o!eda or &no!eda in the hi"torica record" of Heavener and Ae F ore County in 9k aho!a yie ded no re"u t"% a though one !ight attri$ute thi" to the i!itation" he # aced on hi" "earch% $y ooking on y in record" fro! the ate 10 th and ear y 2,th centurie"'2+ A though the !o"t recent re"earch $y the runo ogi"t ;i ia!"% and the archaeo ogi"t To!#"en "u##ort" a reading of the "econd rune a" G)H% the officia #o"ition of the Heavener Rune"tone 5ark continue" to ref ect )ie "en<" 10+= inter#retation of rune nu!$er t(o a" an GAH% (ith a con"e8uent tran" iteration of the in"cri#tion a": &-A-9-M-1-D-A-A'20 Thi" reading "te!" fro! the re"earch )ie "en

conducted in 10+= and 10+4% in (hich he found evidence on $racteate" and ninthcentury rune "tone"% of GAH rune" (ith a for! "i!i ar to that of the "econd rune on the Heavener'/, Cn an a##endi. to hi" "econd artic e he #re"ent" "evera e.a!# e" of GAH rune" (ith do(n(ard " anting cro""-$ar" on the right "ide% $ut on y one% the 1 ge"e! Stone% "#ort" a cro""-$ar to the eft% and thi" one in a horiEonta #o"ition inter"ecting the !ain "taff at the very to#' 1ven if (e a o( for the #o""i$i ity of a retrograde reading of tho"e rune" (ith right "ide cro""-$ar"% the fact re!ain" that fe( of the e.a!# e" )ie "en #re"ent" !atch the for! of the "econd rune on the Heavener' A further #ro$ e! ari"e"% (hen (e con"ider that there a ready e.i"t" an GAH rune in the eighth #o"ition on the in"cri#tion (hich deviate" "ignificant y fro! the for! of the "econd rune% and on y (ith difficu ty and "#ecia # eading "hou d (e read the"e a" the "a!e rune' )ie "en c ai!" to have found a "i!i ar "ituation on the Rand$o "tone% (here GAH i" re#re"ented $y t(o


different runic for!"% $ut thi" "tone (a" carved ater than the "u##o"ed dating of the Heavener%/1 after the advent of the Jounger Futhark rune"' /2 Cn addition% the # hotogra#h"
of the Rand$o "tone C have "een% do not "u##ort )ie "en<" c ai! that the GAH on the Rand$o "tone di"# ay" the "a!e for! a" the "econd rune on the Heavener' A!ong the >## andic

in"cri#tion" di"cu""ed $y $y )ie "en% in hi" 10+4 artic e he c ai!" to have found a !irror i!age rune of Heavener<" rune nu!$er 2% $ut the"e in"cri#tion" co!e fro! the 1,th and 11th centurie"% ong after the #eriod (hen the rune" of the 1 der futhark had fa en into di"u"e'// )one of the re!aining rune "tone" )ie "en #re"ent" in the t(o artic e"% *Ar"tad% 7inneve Stone% &or ev- !atch #reci"e y the for! found on the Heavener' Cn a #re#u$ ication draft of hi" re"earch conducted on the Heavener "tone% ;i ia!" di"cu""e" further the evidence on (hich )ie "en $a"e" hi" conc u"ion"' He note" that !uch of it re ie" #ri!ari y on outdated "ource" *i'e' So#hu" Bugge% 10,/% 101/- He #oint" to ;o fgang 7rau"e<"% Die Runeninschriften im lteren Futhark a" a !ore re ia$ e "ource *8uoted% (ith #er!i""ion-: K>9T1 %he most modern "olle"tion of ins"ri#tions with the older runi" "hara"ters is Brause 1' $ *one of the #arallels advan"ed of reading C+the se"ond rune. as

an l&rune b) *ielsen "an be u#held$ @harna) has a U, whi"h is not the same as a N, and in either "ase Brause +1' , #$ 22. writes that the inter#retation of this

rune remains un"ertain$ *ordendorfs fifth rune is not even transliterated b) Brause +o#$ "it$, #$ 2'>.$ :ad 0ms does indeed "ontain a rune transliterated as l b) Brause +o#$ "it$, #$ 2,2., but the "ommentar) is s#arse and on the #i"ture +%afel 1. nothing "an be seen$ 4owever, in an earlier edition of his book +1'-D, #$ -?E721-8. Brause "omments that the bran"h "rosses the staff a


little under the to#$ It is thus "lear that we have a L&rune, not an N, whi"h ma) be seen in the mu"h better #i"ture +1bb$ 11 b. on #$ - E721>8$ 5reilaubersheim "ontains a seFuen"e read as mal b) :ugge +1,'161'0-, #$ 1-D. but as something "om#letel) different b) Brause +1' , #$ 2,- f$.$ 1s "an be seen, none

of the exam#les of N read as an l6rune is unambiguous, whi"h the) have to be to "arr) an) #roof$

;i ia!" 8ue"tion" a "o the 8ua ity of the evidence #rovided $y )ie "en% $eing $a"ed for the !o"t #art on $racteate"/6% (hich are con"idered $y !o"t runo ogi"t" to $e unre ia$ e "ource" of evidence' Michae Barne"% in a cha#ter fro! hi" 2,12 $ook on ?16'6: Cn"cri#tion" in Meta @ *142- a ude" to the fact that ?unu"ua rune for!" on $racteate"@ can ari"e during ?thi" *#re"u!a$ y tricky- #roce""@ of in"cri$ing !irror-i!age" onto die"' Another #ro$ e! (ith $racteate" i" that they are !a""-#roduced $y individua " (ith itt e or no kno( edge of runic tradition"' The runo ogi"t 1ric Mo tke (arn" that one "hou d ?$e (ary of in"cri#tion"% (hether anti8ue of !edieva % on any kind of !eta o$Iect' The craft"!an (ho doe" not kno( hi" etter" (i !ake !i"take" !uch !ore readi y than "o!eone (ho doe"'@ *11=- Dr' ;i ia!" in hi" re"earch find" in"ufficient evidence to "u##ort )ie "en<" reading of thi" rune a" an GAH and e!#hatica y reIect" the reading ?&A-9-M-1-D-A-A on (hich thi" i" $a"ed% dec aring it to $e ?i!#o""i$ e'@ /2 Mo"t recent y in a #er"ona 1-Mai to the current author% dated A#ri 1% 2,1/% ;i ia!" further c arifie" hi" #o"ition% "tating that a @*!odern- carver !ight very (e have intended the "econd rune to $e an L MF*$ut- a carver in ancient ti!e" (ou d not'@ He a "o $a"e" hi" conc u"ion that the Heavener i" ike y !odern% in #art on the fact that in 7rau"e<" "urvey of the


in"cri#tion"% he i" una$ e to find an ?M@ rune dated after 4,, AD% (hich ha" a for! ike that on the Heavener Rune"tone'

Fina Re!ark"
Cn conc u"ion% there i" in"ufficient evidence at thi" ti!e to "u##ort the c ai! that the Heavener Rune"tone i" a Viking artifact% or that Viking e.# orer" vi"ited 9k aho!a in the ear y Midd e Age"' )or can it $e "tated conc u"ive y that the in"cri#tion (a" carved in !odern ti!e"% a though the "u##orting evidence here i" far !ore credi$ e' The archaeo ogi"t Ay e Tho!#"on<" !o"t recent argu!ent" for a ate nineteenth century dating of Heavener rune "tone are unconvincing% "ince they do not account for a of the te"ti!onia evidence% nor do they "#eak to the e.i"tence of an ora tradition regarding the fir"t "ighting of the "tone' Hi" theory that a Scandinavian rai road (orker in

9k aho!a carved the "tone in the ate nineteenth century re!ain" (ho y "#ecu ative% due to the ack of "#ecific evidence that Scandinavian i!!igrant" ca!e to 9k aho!a in the 10th century% or that a rai road (orker there (ou d have had acce"" to the runic kno( edge nece""ary to carve the"e "tone"' 9n the other hand% Bart Tor$ert<"

conc u"ion that ?at ea"t "o!e of the 9k aho!a Rune Stone" are authentica y ancient@ a "o ack" "ufficient evidentiary "u##ort' /= He #re"u##o"e" that the Heavener "tone (a" carved in either the + th century or the 10th century and having in hi" !ind di"#roven To!#"en<" the"i" of the ear ier date% he dec are" hi" o(n to $e correct' Jet the on y #o"itive "u##ort he #rovide" for hi" conc u"ion i" that none of the ideo"yncracie" of the


9k aho!a Rune Stone" ?fa out"ide of (hat can $e found in ancient Scandinavian e.a!# e"'@/4 Fro! thi" it can on y $e conc uded that the possibility e.i"t" for the"e rune" to have $een carved in ancient ti!e"' Ba"ed on hi" recent inve"tigation of the "tone% the Henrik ;i ia!" atte"t" to the "i!i aritie" of the"e rune" to + th century rune" of kno(n authenticity in Scandinavia% $ut he i" una$ e to find una!$iguou" evidence that a rune" in the in"cri#tion cou d have e.i"ted in the for! found on the Heavener *Cin the "a!e ti!e #eriod *+ th century or $efore'- Dr' ;i ia!" find" #articu ar y #ro$ e!atic the "econd rune (hich% he c ai!" cannot $e read a" an GAH if the in"cri#tion i" to $e vie(ed a" authentic- and if read a" an )% i" atte"ted nu!erou" ti!e" in the !odern )or(egian na!e" &' )o!!eda or gno!eda ' Thi" ead" hi! to the

conc u"ion that ?The Heavener Rune" (ere !o"t #ro$a$ y carved at the end of the 10 th century% #o""i$ y "o!e(hat ater'@ /+ Cn genera C (ou d agree (ith ;i ia!"< dating of the in"cri#tion to the 10th century% $ut (ou d continue to argue for an ear ier dating% #erha#" in the 1+4,<"% (hen (e have a (itne"" re#orting he kne( of the "tone<" e.i"tence a" a chi d' There re!ain !any unre"o ved 8ue"tion"' ;ho (a" &' )o!eda 3 ;hat (a" he doing in 9k aho!a in the 10 th century3 ;here did he ac8uire hi" kno( edge of the rune"3 ;hy (ou d he have carved hi" na!e on thi" " a$ of rock in rura 9k aho!a3 Ho( did he carve it3 And (hat "hou d (e !ake of the Chocta( ora tradition di"cu""ed $y & oria Far ey3 ;a" thi" "tory !ere y fa$ricated% or i" there #erha#" "o!e truth to it3 Did "o!eone actua y "ee the "tone in the 1+/,<"3 Cf "o% it !ay $e #o""i$ e to reo#en thi" ca"e at "o!e #oint' But for no(% $arring the di"covery of ne( evidence% the

runo ogica and archaeo ogica evidence do not "u##ort c ai!" that Viking" vi"ited


9k aho!a in the ear y Midd e Age"% $ut #oint in"tead to a !odern-day origin of the in"cri#tion% "o!eti!e in the 10th century% $y "o!eone na!ed )o!!eda '

Thi" #a#er i" a revi"ed and e.#anded ver"ion of a #re"entation to the Cnternationa Conference on Medieva and Renai""ance Thought he d on A#ri 6-=% 2,1/ at Sa! Hou"ton State >niver"ity% in Hunt"vi e% TN'

See Michae Barne"% ?Runero("%@ in Runes ! "and#ook *;ood$ridge: Boyde % 2,12' 6-4' According to Barne"% ?the younger fu=arkF a##ear" in the )orth "hort y after AD 4,,@% 2'

If we admit to the #ossibilit) of reading the ins"ri#tion using more than one futhark, and then read the se"ond rune as an 7l8, this means that the last rune with its different form, should no longer be read as an 7l8, but rather a 7t8 from the same futhark$

Thi" i" the current reading "u##orted an #ro!oted $y the Heavener Rune"tone 5ark% $a"ed on Richard )ie "en<" 10+= tran" ation' G1n Old *orse %ranslation of the 4eavener ;unes$! ESOP 1? +1', .< 1--&1>1$
@ha#man, Paul$ GOklahoma runestones. ESOP 1 +1',D.< '1&'?$

See Siever, Birstin$ The Frozen Echo: Greenland and the Exploration of North America, ca. A.D. 1 !1" +Stanford th HP, 1''D. for a good a""ount of the /reenland "olon) and wh) it was abandoned sometime in the 1? "entur)$

For a #hoto of thi" rune "tone "ee !y 2,,0 artic e: ?)orth A!erican Rune Stone": An Cntervie( of Richard )ie "en@ 1S95 *2,,0-: +/-0/% here% fig' =% #' ++% and the di"cu""ion% ++-+0' For an overvie( of the rune "tone" in &reen and% "ee Marie Stok und% ?&reen and Rune": C"o ation or Cu tura Contact3@ $he Viking !ge in %aithness& Orkney and the 'orth !tlantic. Select Papers from the Proceedings of the Ele(enth Viking %ongress& $hurso and )irk*all& ++ !ugust , - Septem#er -./. ' 1d' Co een 1' Batey% Oudith Oe"ch% Chri"to#her D' Morri"' 1din$urgh >niver"ity 5re""' 100/' e"#' the A##endi.% 261-26/'

See cha#ter 0% ?The 9k aho!a Rune Stone"@ in In Plain Sight Old 0orld Records in !ncient !merica %olum#us O" IS!%& -..1. 214-262.

0#igra#h) deals with the stud) and de"i#herment of an"ient ins"ri#tions$


The ear ie"t *un"u$"tantiated- re#ort" of the "tone<" e.i"tence date to an ora tradition of the Chocta( Cndian" fro! the 1+/,<"% (hen they (ere re"ett ed to 9k aho!a during the ?Trai of Tear"' The ear ie"t eye(itne"" re#ort" date $ack to 1+46 and $efore' Aaura Ca ahan c ai!" to have run her hand over the !o""-covered in"cri#tion a" a young chi d in 10,6' Auther Ca##" "tated $efore (itne""e" that he "a( the "tone in 1+0+% and' Ben 7ing te"tified that hi" father% ;i "on% and t(o other $ear hunter" had "een the carving" on the "tone #rior to 1+46' See Far ey% In Plain Sight& 214-262'

The t(o "aga" re ating the "tory of Aeif<" ?di"covery@ of the )orth A!erican !ain and% &r In aendinga Saga and 0irAks Saga ;auJr, are often referred to co ective y a" the ?Vin and Saga"'@ For an 1ng i"h ver"ion of the "aga" "ee: 7eneva 7un"t% tran"'% $he Vinland Sagas the Icelandic Sagas a#out the First Documented Voyages across the 'orth !tlantic. $he Saga of the 2reenlanders and Eirik the Red3s Saga. Cntro' &i" i Sugurd""on' *Aondon: 5enguin% 2,,+-'

Since the 10=, di"covery of thi" "ite $y the )or(egian e.# orer He gi Cng"tadt% and it" "u$"e8uent e.cavation $y an archaeo ogica tea! ed $y hi" (ife Anna Stine% Aan"e au. Meado(" ha" $een acce#ted a" #roof that Viking" e"ta$ i"hed ca!#" on the !ain and of the )orth A!erican continent% around the year 1,,, AD% a" re#orted in the Vin and Saga" See' Cng"tad% He geP Cng"tad% Anne Stine *2,,1-' $he Viking Disco(ery of !merica $he E4ca(ation of a 'orse Settlement in 56!nse !u4 7eado*s& 'e*foundland ' *)e( Jork: Check!ark% 2,,1-'

See 'e* 8ork $imes Science% May +th 2,,1% ?Strand of Ancient Jarn Sugge"t" 1ar y 1uro#ean 5re"ence in Canada@ at htt#:DD((('nyti!e"'co!D2,,1D,2D,+D"cienceD,+VC7B'ht! and !o"t recent y the )ove!$er 2,12 i""ue of 'ational 2eographic: ?1vidence of Viking 9ut#o"t found in Canada@ htt#:DDne("'nationa geogra#hic' co!Dne("D2,12D1,D121,10-viking-out#o"t-"econd-ne(-canada-"cience-"uther and'


)o una!$iguou" evidence of Viking e.# oration or "ett e!ent ha" ever $een found near the Heavener Stone% or in the "urrounding area'

Oa!e" Frankki% ?Runic Cn"cri#tion" in )orth A!erica: An Cntervie( of Dr' Richard )ie "en'@ ESOP 24 *2,,0-: +0'

For a good introductory di"cu""ion of thi" "ee the cha#ter: ?The Move!ent 1a"t: The Ba tic Aand"% Ru""ia% ByEantiu!%@ in &(ynn Oone": ! "istory of the Vikings' * >5% 2,,1- 261-2=+'

Ay e Tho!#"on% ?An Archae o ogi"t 1.a!ine" the 9k aho!a Rune Stone"%@ ESOP 20 *2,11- 2-6/' here% 1+' Bart Tor$ert% ?Re# y to an Archaeo ogi"t@ ESOP 20 *2,11- 66-2+' e"#' 2=' Tor$ert% 6=-64'




C refer here to one of the ear ie"t #u$ ication" of rune" and rune "tone" fro! the 10 th century: See &eorge Ste#hen"% $he Old,'orthern Runic 7onuments of Scandina(ia and England. Vo ' C of /' Aondon: Oohn Ru""e S!ith% 1+==-=4-' A the runic for!" on the Heavener in"cri#tion can $e found in vo u!e 1 of thi" co ection% in a variety of conte.t"% and cou d% theoretica y% have $een co#ied fro! thi" te.t $y a !odern-day carver' See e"#ecia y: 1/6-/4P 161-62 and 166-12,'

Tor$ert% 2=' Oa!e" Frankki% ?The 7an"a" City *S ater- Rune"tone'@ ESOP 20 *2,11-: 02-1,/



?Me""age" in Stone%@ Aecture #re"ented on 9cto$er 6th% 2,1, at )orthea"tern 9k aho!a >niver"ity in Ta e8uah% 9k aho!a'

;i ia!"% ?Me""age" in Stone'@ A" re#orted $y Friederick 5oh % A" ak Aie"tQ (a" one of the fir"t runo ogi"t" to "ugge"t a reading of the "econd rune (a" G)H% and the tran" ation a" a (ho e a" ?&' )o!eda '@ See: F' 5oh % !tlantic %rossings 9efore %olum#us% *)e( Jork: )orton% 10=1- 26'

;i ia!"% ?The Reading of the Second Rune of the Heavener Cn"cri#tion'@ 1'


To!#"en<" "earch of the"e record"% (a" $a"ed on the #re"u!#tion that the "tone (a" carved in the ate 10 th century' &iven the evidence fro! affadavit" of eye (itne""e"% and the Chocta( ora tradition fro! the 1+/,<"% cen"u" data and $irth and death record" fro! the ear ier #eriod "ti need to $e checked for #er"on" $earing the na!e )o!eda % or "o!e variant thereof'

To!#"en% 14'


Thu"% vi"itor" to the #ark find #icture"% #o"ter"% #o"t card"% etc' $earing the tran" ation: &-A-9-M-1-D-A-A' Gaccording to the #o"ter thi" e8ua ": & o!e<" va ey% #o""i$ y na!ed after a #rovince in )or(ayH'

Cn hi" 10+= artic e #u$ i"hed in ESOP -:% he argue" that the A-rune (ith it" uni atera $ar cou d a##ear on either "ide of the !ain "taff% and need not $e read a" a younger futhark rune' Thi" $reakthrough a o(ed hi! to c ai! that a the rune" cou d $e vie(ed a" 1 der futhark rune"% and argue for the authenticity of the Heavener *1- a" an e.a!# e of an in"cri#tion carved in the 5ri!itive )or"e #eriod *AD 2,-42,-'

There i" a "o an i""ue regarding the dating of thi" rune "tone to the "econd runic #eriod *;i!!er and Oaco$"en% 1016: 0=,-04,- % (hich #ut" it (e out"ide the ti!e #eriod "ugge"ted for the in"cri#tion a" a (ho e *#rior to the +th century/2

)ie "en argue" that ?it i" not unu"ua to find A carved in different (ay" in the"e ne( runic te.t"F@ and $a"e" thi" on evidence found on the &or ev "tone fro! a$out 0,, AD-% (hich "#ort" $oth L and * -' But thi" (ou d

"ugge"t a !uch ater dating for the Heavener% (hich the for!" of the other rune" do not "u##ort'

The reference to Tho!#"on *not to $e confu"ed (ith A' To!#"onR- doe" not a##ear in the $i$ iogra#hy of the either of )ie "en<" artic e" on the Heavener Stone and C have not yet $een a$ e to verify thi" infor!ation'

Bracteate" are one-"ided coin" "ta!#ed on thin !eta and !a""-#roduced'


;i ia!"% ?The Reading of the Second RuneF@ 2' Cn a #er"ona 1-Mai to the author% dated A#ri 1% 2,1/% he c arified hi" #o"ition% "tating that a @*!odern- carver !ight very (e have intended the "econd rune to $e an L MF*$ut- a carver in ancient ti!e" (ou d not'@ He a "o $a"e" hi" conc u"ion that the Heavener i" ike y !odern% in #art on the fact that he can find no ?M@ rune ( ith thi" for! in 7rau"e<" "urvey of the in"cri#tion" (ritten carved (ith the 1 der Futhark'

Tor$ert% 2=' Tor$ert% 2=' ;i ia!"%?The Reading of the Second runeF'@ *1-



Works Cited
:arnes, Mi"hael$ #$ne%: A &and'oo($ :o)dell< Koodbridge, 2012$ :ugge, So#hus$ Nor)e% *n%(rifter +ed de Aeldre #$ner, vol$ 1$ Oslo< @hristiana, P$K$ :rLger 1,'1&1,'-$ @ha#man, Paul$ GOklahoma ;unestones$! ESOP 1 +1',D.< '1&'?$ G0viden"e of Miking Out#ost found n @anada$! National Geo)raphic. *ovember 2012$ Nhtt#<EEnews$nationalgeogra#hi"$"omEnewsE2012E10E12101'&viking&out#ost&se"ond&new&"anada&

s"ien"e&sutherlandO$ 5arle), /loria$ *n Plain Si)ht: Old ,orld #ecord% in Ancient America. @olumbus, /1< IS1@ Press, 1''-$ 5rankki, Pames$ G%he Bansas @it) +Slater. ;une Stone< a Modern&2a) ;uni" Ins"ri#tion$! ESOP 2' +2011.< '2&10-$ &&&$ G;uni" Ins"ri#tions in *orth 1meri"a< 1n Interview with 2r$ ;i"hard *ielsen$! ESOP 2D +200'.< ,-&'-$ Pones, /w)nn$ A &i%tor- of the .i(in)%$ Oxford< HP, 2001$ Brause, Kolfgang$ Die #$nenin%chriften im /lteren F$thar( 162$ Mit :eitrQgen von 4erbert Pankuhn$ 1bhandlungen der 1kademie der Kisses"haften in /Lttingen$ Philologis"h& historis"he Blasse$ 2ritte 5olge, *r$ ?$ /Lttingen< Mandenhoe"k R ;u#re"ht, 1' $ Beneva Bunst, trans$ The .inland Sa)a%: the *celandic Sa)a% a'o$t the Fir%t Doc$mented .o-a)e% acro%% the North Atlantic. The Sa)a of the Greenlander% and Eiri( the #ed0% Sa)a. *ntro. Gi%li Si)$rd%%on. +3ondon< PenguiSn, 200,.$ *ielsen, ;i"hard$ G1n Old *orse %ranslation of the 4eavener ;unes$! ESOP 1? +1', .< 1--& 1>1$ &&&$ G%he ;unestones of Oklahoma$! ESOP 1 +1',D.< 1,-&'?$ Odenstedt, :engt, 1''0< On the ori)in and earl- hi%tor- of the r$nic %cript$ T-polo)- and )raphic 1ariation on the older futhark$ 1"ta 1"ademiae regiae /ustavi 1dol#hi '$ H##sala< 1lmFvist R Kiksell International$ Siever, Birstin$ The Frozen Echo: Greenland and the Exploration of North America, ca. A.D. 1 ! 1" . Stanford HP, 1''D$ Ste#hens, /eorge$ %he Old&*orthern ;uni" Monuments of S"andinavia and 0ngland$ Mol$ 1 of -$ 3ondon< Pohn ;ussell Smith, 1, & D$ Stoklund, Marie$ G/reenland runes< Isolation or @ultural @onta"tT! $he Viking !ge in %aithness& Orkney and the 'orth !tlantic. Select Papers from the Proceedings of the Ele(enth Viking %ongress& $hurso and )irk*all& ++ !ugust , - Septem#er -./. ' 1d' Co een 1' Batey% Oudith Oe"ch% Chri"to#her D' Morri"' 1din$urgh >niver"ity 5re""' 100/' GStrand of 1n"ient 9arn Suggests 0arl) 0uro#ean Presen"e in @anada! Ne2 3or( Time% Science, 2001$ , Ma) 2001 N htt#<EEwww$n)times$"omE2001E0?E0,Es"ien"eE0,MIB:$htmlO$ %om#sen$ 3)le$ G1n 1r"haeologist 0xamines the Oklahoma ;une Stones$! ESOP 2' +2011.< ?&>-$ %orbert, :arton P$ G;e#l) to an 1r"haeologist$! ESOP 2' +2011.< >>&?,$ Killiams, 4enrik$ G%he ;eading of the Se"ond rune of the 4eavener Ins"ri#tions$! +#re#ubli"ation draft. 1#ril1, 201-$ &&&$ #ersonal 0&Mail "orres#onden"e, 1#ril 1, 201-$ &&&, and ;i"hard *ielsen$ GMessages in Stone$! 3e"ture #resented at *ortheastern Oklahoma Hniversit) in %aleFuah, Oklahoma on O"tober >, 2010$