||It has been suggested that this article be merged with Poteau Runestone. (Discuss) Proposed since April 2013.|
Heavener runestone with the runes copied above.
|Region||Le Flore County, Oklahoma|
Text - Native
|Runestones - Runic alphabet
Runology - Runestone styles
The inscription has been rejected by Scandinavian philologists and runologists, who consider it most likely modern (19th or early 20th century). The reading of the "Elder Futhark" style runes is probably "GNOMEDAL" (meaning "Gnome Valley", or perhaps a personal name "G. Nomedal").
The difficulty of using the Heavener Runestone to demonstrate Viking exploration of the area is that the Elder Futhark had become obsolete by the 8th century, long before the Viking expeditions to Greenland and Vinland. Also, only six of the eight characters are correct Elder Futhark runes. A transliteration would read "G [rough backwards N] O M E D A [backwards L]".
Archaeologist Ken Feder notes that unlike the situation in eastern Canada where evidence has been found that proves a Norse presence, nothing similar has been found anywhere near Heavener or even in the American Midwest. He suggests that "it is unlikely that the Norse would get significantly more fastidious about leaving any evidence behind of their presence in Oklahoma."
Archaeologist Lyle Tompsen in a 2007 Masters Thesis for the University of Leicester (later published in ESOP 29 2011:5-43) examined the rune stone and noted:
- There is no cultural evidence of Vikings in or near the region.
- No Old Norse approach to translation fits this stone.
- The stones most likely translation is 'Gnome Dal' (Valley of the Gnomes).
- Scandinavian presence in the nearby town of Heavener is early and the likeliest source of the carving of the stone.
- Other purported rune stones in the region are modern creations, or misinterpreted Native American rock art.
"Barring any new evidence, the stone is best considered a modern creation."
- In 1991, Carl Albert State College in nearby Poteau changed its mascot to a Viking in the stone's honor.
- Poteau Runestone, which bears the same inscription
- Shawnee Runestone
- Turkey Mountain inscriptions
- Kensington Runestone
- Tompsen, Lyle. "An Archaeologist Looks at the Oklahoma Runestones ESOP 29, 2011: 5-43 | Lyle Tompsen". Academia.edu. Retrieved 2013-03-27.
- Kenneth L. Feder, Encyclopedia of Dubious Archaeology: From Atlantis To The Walam Olum, page 137 (Greenwood, 2010). ISBN 978-0-313-37919-2