Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Production has Started on a History Channel Documentary about the Kensington Runestone

I just got confirmation that there is a new documentary, focusing in part on the Kensington Runestone, in production over at the History Channel. According to reports Committee Films, along with a crew of about 30, spent the day at Kensington Runestone Park recently – filming the story of the Kensington Runestone.

From what I understand about the documentary, the main story revolves around a new theory that the Kensington Runestone may have been a coded message related to the Knights Templar, rather than Viking explorers. Apparently stones with similar markings have been found on the east coast and across the Atlantic, implying that there may actually be something to the authenticity of the artifact.

Supposedly this documentary is even speculating that if the Templars are behind the Runestone there may be a chance that they also brought the Holy Grail over with them.

Yeah, I think it’s a stretch, too. But whatever, if researchers can prove the stone is actually from the 1300’s as has been posited, then it’s one more example of pre-Columbian exploration of the new world. An idea that science has been slow to recognize as both possible and probable.

What’s that? You aren’t familiar with the Kensington Runestone? Oh, well here’s the skinny:

The Kensington Runestone is a slab of greywacke covered in runes on its face and side which, if it is genuine, would suggest that Scandinavian explorers reached the middle of North America in the 14th century. It was found in 1898 in the largely rural township of Solem, Douglas County, Minnesota, and named after the nearest settlement, Kensington.

Depending on who you ask, it could be a 19th century forgery or an important archaeological find from the 14th century. Those who ascribe a Scandinavian origin to the stone claim it shows evidence of obscure medieval runes and intersecting word forms that would have been unknown to potential forgers in the 1800s. These advocates tend to be enthusiastic but often lacking in professional credentials (Viking-origin proponent Keith Massey holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where Erik Wahlgren taught). Interested professional archaeologists, historians, and Scandinavian linguists generally question the stone's provenance.

Here's a good video on the Runestone and some info on its possible link to the Knights Templar. Anyone have any thoughts on what the Runestone could be? Share them in the comments section.

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