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Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center


In the field.


Updated September 14, 2020

  • Schedule of Events will be updated throughout the year.
  • Information about regional archaeology events sponsored by other organizations can be found by visiting MVAC’s Facebook page.

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  • CANCELLED - Annual Awards and Lecture - The Kensington Runestone and Golf Balls on the Moon

    Thursday, October 29, 2020
    Social 6:30 pm, Awards 7 pm, Lecture 7:30 pm at UWL Student Union, room 3310

    Scott AnfinsonDue to the rapidly developing Coronavirus situation, we have cancelled our October 29, 2020 - Annual Awards and Lecture - The Kensington Runestone and Golf Balls on the Moon.

    Please check this web page and MVAC's Facebook page for updates on upcoming MVAC events.

    In 1898 Olaf Ohman, a Swedish immigrant farmer, claimed he discovered a stone covered with Norse runic letters on his farm near Kensington, Minnesota.  His discovery didn’t get much attention until Hjalmar Holand, a Wisconsin historian interested in Scandinavian immigration, promoted it as an authentic relic dating to 1362. Throughout the 20th century, support for the Kensington Runestone’s authenticity waxed and waned. In the early 21st century, the Runestone found new champions in Scott Wolter, the president of a cement testing company in Minneapolis, and Richard Nielson, a Texas engineer. The authenticity of the Kensington stone continues to be debated, although interest in the stone has once again waned as Wolter has moved on to reality TV stardom and Nielson has died. Arguments for and against the Kensington Runestone will be presented in the contexts of archaeology, history, linguistics, geography, pseudoscience, common sense, and Scandinavian humor.

    Scott Anfinson is the former Minnesota State Archaeologist and author of several archaeology publications.

    Kensington Runestone