|Scott Wolter lectures on Kensington Rune Stone|
Scott Wolter, professional geologist and president of American Petrographic Services, will address "The Kensington Rune Stone: Compelling New Evidence about Vikings in Minnesota" at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 8, at the Idea Lab, Ina Mae Rude Entrepreneur Center. Admission fee is $5; students are free.
Controversy has raged ever since 1898 when Olaf Ohman, a Swedish immigrant farmer working his fields near what is now Alexandria, Minn., found a 202-pound, mysteriously engraved stone tangled in the roots of an uprooted tree. Experts have debated whether this runic writing was authentic. The stone, dated 1362, soon provided how difficult the search for the truth can be - and raised eyebrows over the possibility that Nordic explorers predated Columbus in America by more than a century. Most historians, archaeologists and linguists over the decades have said "nonsense" to the idea that wandering Norsemen in 1362 got to Minnesota and left a carved stone in memory of slain members of their expedition. What is the truth after 110 years?
Geologist Scott Wolter will talk about his exhaustive research and objective analysis on this rune stone. Wolter will discuss some of the initial tests that were done on the stone, and why it was initially called a fake. He will also review what was new in his research, including his scientific process for testing the stone and how it brings new light to the rune stone. Wolters will cover the geological evidence, previously ignored but unmistakable, and now a powerful dating testimony; an astounding connection to previously undeciphered runes found in the graveyards of Sweden; a treasure trove of unknown letters from the Ohman family themselves -- as well as private interviews that break a decades-long silence on critical events; and the final decoding of the curious, but deliberate, anomalies in several significant runes.
Scott Wolter has been president of American Petrographic Services of St. Paul since 1990, and is responsible for the independent petrographic analysis testing laboratory. Petrography deals with the description and classification of rocks, especially by microscopic examination. He has been principal petrographer in over 5,000 investigations throughout the United States as well as Canada and Puerto Rico, including the evaluation of fire-damaged concrete at the Pentagon following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Wolter published a book, "The Kensington Rune Stone: Compelling New Evidence," with Richard Nielsen, where they presented the startling new evidence on the authenticity of the stone by compiling their 25 years of collective research on the artifact.
This speaking engagement is co-sponsored by three Norwegian-affiliated organizations in Greater Grand Forks: Nordic Initiative, Norseman Federation, and the Association of Norwegian Students Abroad (ANSA) at UND.