Why the Kensington Runestone is a fake

Minnesota farmer Olaf Ohman unearthed the Kensington Runestone on his Douglas County farm in 1898, and for a good share of the time since, people have debated whether it’s a fake or an actual artifact from Nordic explorers dating from 1392. If it’s a legit, it proves the Vikings were here first.

But now there’s some additional evidence that the mysterious inscriptions on the stone come from the hand only of Olaf Ohman.

Aardvarkaeology points to a paper deciphering a numerical code, which appears to say:


“The Öhmans found. We kept/collected firewood at the stone.”

The Swede who wrote the paper says, “after his rune stone gained acceptance in wider circles through skilful marketing by others, it became almost impossible for him to come clean with his honour intact.”

(h/t: Paul Weimer)