Runic Scholar and Midwest Historian Visit Philadelphia’s Swedish Museum

Myths of the Rune Stone

Henrik & Dave Dr. Williams (on the left) and me at the American Swedish Historical Museum. We are both pointing to the respective regions in Sweden to which we have familial ties. My great-great grandparents came to Minnesota in the 1880s.

As noted in a previous post, I invited Swedish runic scholar Henrik Williams to speak at a special event on November 14, 2016 at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Dr. Williams is a professor of Scandinavian languages at Uppsala University in Sweden and the lead researcher for the American Association of Runic Studies (AARS), an organization committed to historically accurate, peer-reviewed, scientific analysis of runes and runic inscriptions. Henrik is also engaged in an educational partnership with the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings. Be sure to visit the team website for a series of articles and a video about accurate portrayals of Viking history.

Earlier in the day, I had the…

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Why Viking Myths Matter to Americans

Why Myths Matter to Americans: A Round-Table Discussion w/Author David M. Krueger Wednesday, February 24, 2016 - 7:00-8:30 pm at Arch Street UMC: Philadelphia, PA DR. JON PAHL: the Peter Paul and Elizabeth Hagan Professor in the History of Christianity at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. He is the author of Empire of Sacrifice: The … Continue reading Why Viking Myths Matter to Americans

Karl Ove Knausgaard and the Kensington Rune Stone in the New York Times Magazine!

Myths of the Rune Stone

Yesterday, the New York Times Magazine published the first of two articles written by famed Norwegian novelist Karl Ove Knausgaard. You can access the article here. Knausgaard gives an account of his North American adventures, which begin in L’Anse aux Meadows at the northeastern tip of Newfoundland. The Canadian locale is the site of the only known Viking settlement in North America and dates to the year 1000. Knausgaard tells us that his New York Times editor asked him to drive from Canada to Minnesota, where he could view the Kensington Rune Stone, an artifact which many believe to be proof that Vikings visited the region in the 14th century. Knausgaard somehow managed to lose his drivers license and was forced to find alternative means to continue his “tongue-in-cheek Tocqueville” sojourn across North America. By the end of this first article, he had made it as far as Detroit.

Among his many observations about American life, Knausgaard writes about the intersection of myth…

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Kensington Rune Stone in the New York Times?

The Facebook page of the Runestone Museum in Alexandria, Minnesota posted the following statement on February 16, 2015: "Look for The New York Times Magazine this Sunday, Feb. 22 for an article that should feature the Runestone Museum! The name of the article's author is cloaked in mystery until then. I don't know if the … Continue reading Kensington Rune Stone in the New York Times?

Viking Artifacts Discovered Near Great Lakes!!

  This was the headline of a recent article on a satirical news website called the World News Daily Report. The article claims that a group of amateur archaeologists recently discovered a collection of Viking artifacts on the shore of Lake Huron near the town of Cheboygan, Michigan. The collection included "swords, axes...silver buttons and a balance … Continue reading Viking Artifacts Discovered Near Great Lakes!!