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"Out of Place Artifacts" (OOPArts) Oddities That Defy Explanation.  
Archaeological anomalies that challenge conventional theories. 

 

 

Ooparts & Other Oddities

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Kensington Rune Stone
Douglas County, Minnesota

A large stone slab covered in runic symbols, found in 1898 in a rural county of Minnesota.  It was found by a famer who was clearing a small knoll overlooking a marsh.  According to the farmer, it was well tangled into the root system of a large tree.

Initially, it was thought to be American Indian in origin. Under later examination it was identified as Nordic runes.  (The stone is 30x16x6 inches and about 200 lbs.)

If authentic, it would offer strong evidence that Scandinavian explorers or settlers had reached into the mid-continent of North America in the 14th century (the 1300's).

The scientific community has examined the stone extensively and are at odds on an opinion.  Geologists argue that in studying the physical evidence and weathered nature of the stone, that the inscriptions are at least 500 years old. 

Linguists and rune experts argue that the language used in the inscription appears too modern when compared to Nordic languages of the 14th century.  So, unable to explain it definitively, many simply dismiss it as a hoax.

While I have not had the opportunity to see this stone in person, as an archaeologist myself, I know that stone displays definite and unmistakable signs of aging and weathering.  While the inscriptions are certainly millions of years younger then the stone itself, there would be a very good indication of the aging and weathering process visible on the carved grooves forming the inscription. 

I would have to agree with the geologists.   

And, one can not dismiss the fact that there are many other pieces of physical evidence spread across North America suggesting Nordic visits or colonization in the 14th Century.


The Maine Penny

In 1957, archaeologists working in Brooklin, Maine were excavating an important Native American settlement at Naskeag Point. Little did they know that the site, known as the Goddard site, would reveal an artifact that would turn archeology on its (proverbial) ear.

The prehistoric Indian settlement they were excavating had offered evidence of being the hub of a large trade network for the northern native tribes so it was not too uncommon to find artifacts from other tribes. What was a surprise however, was a small silver coin with a perforation on the coins edge, presumably to be worn as a pendant. (The perforated edge has since crumbled away due to the effects of age and corrosion).

The coin was initially thought to be a 12th century English coin but after examination by numismatic experts from London, it was identified as a Norse coin. The coin was also determined to have been minted between 1065 and 1080 AD (9th Century) during the reign of Olaf Kyrre, roughly 50 years after the last of the Vinland voyages recounted in Norse sagas.

This could indicate Norse (European) contact with Native Americans well before the popularized 1492 event.

The coin has been examined by numerous experts and scientists and is generally regarded as genuine. The Goddard site is scientifically dated at 1180-1235.

The "Maine Penny" is one of the very few (pre-contact or pre-Colombian) Norse artifacts that have been found in the United States.  Norse settlements and related artifacts have been found along Canada's northern seacoast with increasing frequency.  The most notable is the settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows in the Province of Newfoundland (see below).

The Goddard site in Maine, produced over 30,000 artifacts that were donated to the Maine State Museum, the coin was one of those artifacts and it currently resides in the state's collection. (Coin photo courtesy of the Maine State Museum)


The reconstructed Viking settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows, in the Province of Newfoundland, the only "fully authenticated" Viking settlement in North America.

   

The Salzburg Cube

The Salzburg Cube, also known as The Wolfsegg Iron, is a relatively small block of iron that was found buried in a coal seam in Wolfsegg, Austria, in 1865.

It weighs 785 grams (about 1 and 3/4 lbs.) and measures 2.6 inches high by 2.6 inches long by 1.85 inches wide and has a deep incision running around its circumference. Its origin is unknown, and while it somewhat resembles a meteorite it is not.

 

 

The Baghdad Battery

In 1938, the Director of the Baghdader Antikenverwaltung (the Baghdad Antiquities' Administration) Wilhelm König, was working an excavation on a Parthian site at Khujut Rubu'a, for the Iraqi Museum.  At this site, he found a rather unusual ceramic vessel which contained a cylinder made of a thin sheet of rolled copper, soldered with a lead/tin alloy.  The cylinder was capped at the bottom with a crimped copper disk and sealed with asphalt (bitumen).

There was an insulating layer of asphalt holding the copper tube in place at the top of the jar. Under further examination, it was discovered that suspended inside the copper cylinder was an iron rod.

The unusual assemblage showed signs of acid corrosion.  König concluded that the ancient jar was some form of electric battery. Reconstruction experiments (with copies) showed that the device was capable of producing a charge of about one volt. Over the course of time additional jars of the same construction were unearthed.  The devices were identified as being constructed in the 3rd century BC (the Parthian period).

Various speculations have suggested that the electric cells provide evidence of a technologically advanced civilization (or influence of one) in these ancient times. Other speculations suggest that they were used by the Mesopotamians in the electroplating of silvered copper vessels (later proven to be false).

Alternative speculations focus on the probable inefficiencies of the devices in producing much current and suggest they were used in some form of storage or preservation.

To date, no corresponding artifacts that would make use of these energy cells have been found, so for now, the intended purpose of the Baghdad battery is still a mystery.
 

   All articles by: Dr. Von Zuko 2007©   
   

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Dare to explore the fringes of conventional wisdom, challenge the status quo; only then are truth and science revealed.
(Dr. Von Zuko 1998)

 

 
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