Nytt om runer 17 (2002, publ. 2004), 40

The "AVM" Stone from Minnesota (Kensington II)

May 13, 2001, a runic carving was discovered by Janey Westin and her father, Robert Johnson, on a boulder, approximately 400 yards from the finding spot of the Kensington runestone in Minnesota, U. S. A. (Another person has made an unsupported claim to have made the same discovery in 1995.) The "light pinkish-tan granite gneiss" boulder measures 42 × 30 × 30 inches and was found among a collection of similar boulders cleared from near-by fields within the last few decades.

The inscription consists of a total of thirteen symbols in two lines. The pentadic numerals and runes must be transliterated as follows:
AVM:1363: / alu:

The characters of the first line are identical to those of the first Kensington runestone. The three Latin letters may be understood as an abbreviation of the words or prayer Av(e) M(aria)—as on the original Kensington stone—whereas the dating with pentadic numerals is to one year later than the dating on that stone. The last word, Proto-Nordic alu, was intented to be written with the older runes, but it appears that the l-rune inadvertantly recieved a vertical stroke from the end of the twig.

In 2001, professors Kari Ellen Gade at Indiana University and Jana Schulman at Southeastern Louisiana University announced that they and three other students had carved the inscription in June 1985, inspired by a seminar on runes at the University of Minnesota. A hammer and chisel was used and the "quite cumbersome" carving took about two hours.

This information about the so-called AVM stone has been compiled from a report by geologist Scott Wolter to the Kensington Rune Stone Museum (March 6, 2002), a letter from Kari Ellen Gade to the Minnesota Historical Society (September 5, 2001) and a personal communication from her.

Henrik Williams
Institutionen för nordiska språk
Box 527, S-751 20 Uppsala

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