7 Wonders of Alexandria, Minnesota

March 12, 2015    //    James Feist


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 3. The Kensington Runestone

The Runestone with the farmer who discovered it, Olof Ohman.

Without question, one of the most intriguing historical findings of the area is the Kensington Runestone. Discovered by a farmer in 1898 in the tangled roots of an aspen tree, the Runestone remains to be a hot topic of controversy among researchers and experts. The runic artifact suggests that a group of Scandinavian explorers visited the area in 1362, much earlier than the voyages of Columbus. As you could imagine, this turned the American discovery story to a different direction which resulted in a new realm of historical inquiry. The Runestone has led researchers from all over the world on many investigations into the authenticity of the artifact. The fame and impact of the Kensington Runestone was widespread, including influences on Scandinavian culture and inspiration for the name of the state’s professional football team, the Minnesota Vikings. You can take a look at the actual Runestone and gather more information, including how these explorers may have gotten here, by visiting it in person at the Runestone Museum. You can also visit the site where the artifact was discovered at Kensington Runestone Park.

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James Feist