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  1. #1
    CMD
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    Narragansett Bay Runestone Stolen

    Not too far from the stone anchors I recently posted(see "Stone Anchors?" thread), this rock was located:

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    Based on a tip from a shellfisherman, a collegue and I located this inscription in April, 1985. I took the first published photos and wrote a short article for the Journal of the New England Antiquities Research Association(NEARA). Below are poor copies of those 1985 photos, with the characters filled with barnacles, followed by a rendition of the inscription.

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  3. #2
    CMD
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    Ok, I'll put it up again to continue the thread:

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    Notice the X with an arm off it in the 2nd row. Known as a hooked X, thanks to the book by Scott Wolter, "The Hooked X". Inspiration behind the History Channel Doc "The Holy Grail in America". Like many History Channel docs, IMHO, it was as sensetionalist as it gets and I personally found much of Wolter's theories too far fetched for my liking. But, he did come up with something interesting I think. The hooked X does not appear in European Norse inscription. It "first" appears in the late 19th century Larson Papers. The hooked X appears on the well known Kennsington , Mn. Runestone and scholars have deemed it a hoax because this late character is present. Which may apply to the Narragansett Bay Runestone as well. But, Wolter points out, check out the hookedX in the sigla of Christopher Columbus. Don't know what a sigla is, but Columbus used it instead of a signature, and several examples with a hooked X are known:

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    So maybe this runestone is the real deal. Unfortunately, it was stolen in July, 2012. The party responsible is known with 99.99% certainty but the investigation is ongoing, so that's all I'll say, and all I know actually. All land below the mean high tide mark belongs to the people of Rhode Island. If genuine, a cultural theft that robs future generations here of this unique stone, regardless of its' true age. One of, really the most, exciting thing I've ever been involved in discovering, so this hurts.

  4. #3
    CMD
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockbuster View Post
    Some members from here and even from Face book etc answered and had some thoughts about it.
    You may too.
    Could this be European?
    Thanks. Very interesting. I would give much credence to Roger's take on it. Would not put it past the Phoenicians to have made it here either. There have been other tablets and amulets found in the US, most in the 19th century, that have been similarly ascribed. But I'm no expert on the subject. Sites in South America as well. Wish that wasn't broken so we could perhaps understand better what was incised on it. Agree that it doesn't look Runic. I missed that thread.
    If I can find any relevent comparisons, I'll add to the thread.

  5. #4
    CMD
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    rockbuster, this is what your piece reminded me of:

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    For more:http://www.ramtops.co.uk/bat1.html

    Didn't realize, but should have, that Roger had provided an image of Bat Creek in your thread. I also notice that Roger pointed out the problem with the Hooked X on the Kennsington Runestone. The Narragansett Stone shares 3 characters out of its' 9 total characters with the Kennsington stone. Is it 14th century? I don't know, I just want it back where it belongs.
    Last edited by CMD; 12-18-2012 at 03:55 PM.

  6. #5
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    Hi Charlie (as posted on another site)

    I do hope they recover that stone. What on earth do the villains hope to do with it?

    I think the unfortunate thing about runestones in America is that there are a lot of fakes and hoaxes. That – very unhelpfully – serves to obscure the possibility of recognising genuine examples. I have no problem in accepting that genuine ones may well exist, but I have an aversion to any assessment where the Kensington stone is used as a comparative point of reference, since I’m convinced that one is a fake and analysis of its runes points firmly towards the (invented) Larsson alphabets noted in 1883. I read Wolter’s book (The Hooked X) a couple of years ago and it didn’t convince me otherwise. It certainly didn’t convince me the stone was carved in 1362 by the Knights Templar.

    The issue with the Kensington runestone is not about the hooked X character itself. It’s about whether it sits comfortably in context with the other runic characters on the stone as part of a known futhark series. It doesn’t. The stone doesn’t use a single set of characters. It’s a mixture. You can find all of the characters somewhere else and in use at different times, but they don’t belong together.

    I don’t doubt that the “hooked X” in Columbus’s sigla is real and intentional. But the hooked X is found in several scripts apart from the Larsson Runes. It occurs in Gothic script for example, and this character set has its roots in the 4th Century, having been originally devised for use in translating biblical scripts in Germany:

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    A sigla is an abbreviated script, often containing special characters, used originally to indicate the source references for ancient manuscripts without itself taking up valuable space (parchment was expensive stuff). In later times, people used the same method to indicate their own origins in correspondence. Columbus always used a sigla in place of his signature and, in his time, you might see it as an ostentatious and pretentious shorthand way of writing your moniker and presenting your credentials. Frequently, such sigla might contain clever double-meanings and plays on words akin to puns or even jokes – both linguistic and geometric. In a sense, Columbus was “showing off” and the clever construction would only have been apparent to the well educated and those versed in Latin and Greek.

    His sigla has a number of possible interpretations, but I like this one. “Xpo” is a standard Greek abbreviation for “Christo” (meaning Christ), or “Cristo” in Portuguese. “Ferens” is Latin for “messenger”, which becomes “vao” in Portuguese. The “. /” characters at the end are the Greek semicolon… known at the time just as the colon. Put all of that together and you have “Cristovao Colon”, which was the name by which Columbus referred to himself and the name he used when he lived in Portugal. He also, at various times used the names Cristobal Colon and Cristoforo Colombo. The clever part is that you can also read the sigla more literally as “Christ the messenger”. There are other clever constructions buried in the top part of the sigla.

    Columbus also accompanied the sigla with a monogram (not shown in Charlie’s illustration) which appears to be the letters “SFZ” superimposed on top of one another. Some believe that these initials point to Columbus’s real name (as Salvador Fernandes Zarco) and that he had political and religious reasons for using a pseudonym to obscure his true origins from the devoutly Catholic Spanish monarchs and their officials at the time.
    Roger (in the UK)

  7. #6
    CMD
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    Thanks so much, Roger, for helping to clarify some things for me, the definition of a sigla, the fact that the hooked X, or variations of, did exist prior to the Larsson papers, and the contextural problems with the Kensington Stone inscription. Much appreciated! The day I discovered the Narragansett stone I recognized the hooked X, and since at the time its' presence on the Kensington stone had been used to cast doubts on the authenticity of that stone, I understood immediately that the Narragansett Bay Stone was bound to be controversial. Hope to see it again someday.

  8. #7
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    Explain to me the lack of disease immunity and epidemics that devastated native populations directly after Colombus if any of these pre 1492 contacts happened.

  9. #8
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    Here's a pic I took of the Heavener Runestone in E. Oklahoma. They have it behind plexiglass to deter vandals, so the pic is bad but the best I can do with the glare.

    Sure looks like the same type writing to me.

    I hope they find yours up there. People are such scumbags sometimes.
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  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Massac View Post
    Explain to me the lack of disease immunity and epidemics that devastated native populations directly after Colombus if any of these pre 1492 contacts happened.
    While I’m not a fan of anything beyond limited Viking incursions on the North-Eastern seaboard of America, the immunity question is not a valid argument against more extensive contact.

    Immunological memory of exposure to disease agents is carried in the body’s lymphocytes (B & T cells). That memory can be passed on passively to an infant (across the placenta or via breast milk) – in which case the protection is short term (not more than a few months); or it can be active (arising from survival of exposure to a disease agent, or vaccination) where the body retains the ability to launch an immune defence on demand, generally on a longer term basis.

    But even long term immunity wears off after a while, because of what is known as gene shuffling. If it didn’t, then vaccinations would give you life-long protection, and they don’t – you need boosters or have to be re-vaccinated every 5-10 years or so for most diseases.

    The genes in your B & T cells produce proteins whose job it is to match up to random, unpredictable foreign invaders. They do this by memorising the signature of previous infections, coupled with random shuffling rearrangements of DNA fragments. So, if you are subjected to an infection there is a good chance that your immune system will recognise it. Also, an improved chance that even if the disease agent hasn’t previously been encountered, at least one of your B or T cells will be able to launch an immune response by providing something that binds to the invading infection. Cell division and mutation then improves the match and strengthens the defensive response.

    But that kind of immunity is not hereditary - you can’t normally acquire it from your parents. Sperm and egg cells have unshuffled genes, so neither parent passes these rearrangements from the B & T cells on to their offspring. Again, if that were the case, immunisation of parents would negate the need to immunise the offspring and that isn’t the case.

    It might be possible for a pregnant mother exposed to a disease to pass immunity on to her child, but that would be temporary and wouldn’t pass through to the next generation. There is also a possibility of the strength of responses in general to be passed on in a hereditary manner, but not specific responses to individual diseases.

    Given that Viking contact pre-dated Columbus by some 500 years and didn’t result in long-term or large-scale settlement, any acquired immunities would have long disappeared by 1492.
    Roger (in the UK)

  11. #10
    Redcoat Typology Dunce
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotto View Post
    Here's a pic I took of the Heavener Runestone in E. Oklahoma. They have it behind plexiglass to deter vandals, so the pic is bad but the best I can do with the glare.

    Sure looks like the same type writing to me.

    I hope they find yours up there. People are such scumbags sometimes.
    There is a similar problem with the Heavener runestone concerning the mixture of characters engraved on it. Of the 8 characters on the stone, 6 are what is known as Elder Futhark. That is a known runic language, but it had become obsolete in Europe by the 8th Century AD (long before the Vin-Land expedition). The other 2 characters do not belong to that runic set.

    The first encounters with the stone are not well documented. Oral history suggests it was first discovered by a Choctaw hunting party in the 1830’s but that isn’t proven. Wilson King and 2 companion bear-hunters are said to have seen it “before 1874” but that’s only according to a statement signed by his son… not an eye-witness account. The earliest eye-witness on record is from Luther Capps, who claimed to have seen it in 1898, and Laura Callahan remembers being taken by her father to see it in 1904, when she was five years old.

    Carl Kemmerer “re-discovered” it in 1913 and many accounts suggest he then wrote to the Smithsonian seeking opinions on the symbols. But his letter to the Smithsonian is clearly dated 1923, and he uses the word "recently", so it seems unlikely that he waited ten years before seeking that advice.

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    [pic by Dr. Lee W. Woodard on the Heavener Runestone website]

    Interesting that he’s a Mason, isn’t it. Let’s hope that’s nothing more than a coincidence. At some point the stone was being referred to by local settlers as “Indian Rock”, but it’s not clear exactly when that first happened.

    Whatever its age and origin, the one certain thing is that it was carved in situ since it’s in a remote ravine, surrounded on three sides by 40 foot cliffs and it measures about 12 feet by 10 feet by 18 inches.
    Last edited by painshill; 12-20-2012 at 07:10 AM.
    Roger (in the UK)

 

 
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