Re: Hooked 'X' Runes and where they have been found.

Eric Stevens wrote:
On Sat, 07 Feb 2009 15:47:22 +0000, "David B."
<tronospamchos@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Eric Stevens wrote:
The Hooked X was found on the Kensington Runestone.
It was found on the Spirit Pond Runestone (the Mapstone).
It was found on the Narragansett, Rhode Island inscription stone
It has been found, with Niven's help, on an ancient Astrolabe held at
Oxford University dated c. 1350-1400 AD.
It has been found on the sigla of Christopher Columbus.
And (drum roll please) it was found in Rosslyn Chapel.
One very notable example is missing from the list above- the second Larsson runerow, which consistently uses the hooked X for the variants of "A".

This isn't surprising, if the Larsson runes trace their roots to some
earlier heritage.

Well, the clear root of that particular rune is the Dalecarlian X=A rune (usually without a hook) as noted in your quotation below.

The Narragansett stone-

Thanks, that's much better!

So far I haven't tracked down the Rosslyn example, but it's an easy shape to carve as a mason's mark. As for the astrolabe, I'm not aware of any such instruments at Oxford with runes on them, so this may be another "Ch".

Perhaps it is? This may be a case where one has to apply a 'pesher'
reading technique. :-)

Or we may simply be seeing different cases of a desire to distinguish the letter "X" in the standard west-European alphabet from letters which look like "X" in other alphabets.

Unless it can be proved that the Spirit Pond and Narragansett examples were known before the Kensington stone was unearthed, one cannot rule out the possibility that they were carved by people who had seen pictures of the Kensington text.

In fact this was an accusation that was levelled at them when they
were first found and used as evidence that they were fakes. Even if
the Spirit Pond and Narranganset stones were inscribed prior to the
KRS is still leaves open the claim that the KRS was copied from them.

Yes, or at least inspired by them.

In fact this argument remains no matter what date order you ascribe to
the various inscriptions. But is there any reason (other than custom)
to accuse any of these of being fakes?

If the Kensington stone really is a fake, then the similarities found in the others make them pretty much definite fakes as well. The geographical situation, the language and the use of runic alphabets known from 19th century documents tend to suggest (though by no means to prove) that the Kensington stone really is a fake.

To quote from Robert A. Hall writing in

"A very much disputed rune, regarded by many, ever since Flom's
discussion in 1910, as prima facie evidence of modern forgery. A
simple X-shape, either vertical or "lazy" (i.e. on its side), was
used from the Middle Ages (widely attested in the Bergen finds)
down to modern times, as in Dalecarlia. The main sticking point
has been the dot inside the inside the upper right branch, which
until the 1980's was attested in exactly this shape only in this
inscription and in others discovered in North America (Spirit Pond,
Narranganset). Most recently, similar shapes with a dot or a small
branch thus: [figure omitted] have been attested in Scandinavia
(cf. Nielsen [1987:10-13, with tables 3-5; Forthcoming-b1-12, with
six illustrations), so that this form of the 'a' rune can no longer
be dismissed as a North American forgery. Sound-value /a/."

From the earliest days the hooked-X on the KRS has been regarded as a
dotted-X. Those long in the tooth will remember the wars which raged
in this news group over the 'dotted-X'. Until very recent times it has
never been suggested that the Xs were anything other than dotted.

Nonsense. The publshed version of Flom's "The Kensington Rune Stone: An Address" (1910) depicts it as a hooked X, as does the Minneapolis Star reproduction of what seems to be the original transcript of the inscription sent to Sven Turnblad in 1899 (at ). And as I suggested yesterday, the "hook" bars are very clearly visible as such on old photos such as those reproduced by Hu McCulloch.

David B.