Scholars To Examine Heavener Runestone

A pair of scholars will visit Northeastern State University next month for a lecture as well as a field trip to the Heavener Runestone State Park in southeastern Oklahoma.Dr. Henrik Williams is from Sweden's University of Uppsala. He and Dr. Richard Nielsen of Houston will visit the Northeastern State University campus in Tahlequah on October fourth for a free and open to the public lecture entitled "Messages In Stone: Runes and Runic Inscriptions".Prior to the lecture, a field trip to the Heavener Runestone State Park in LeFlore County will be conducted. Dr. Nielsen provided the initial translation that the runes could be a land claim in 1986.Dr. Williams will be viewing the Heavener Runestone for the first time.The Heavener Runestone is a large sandstone slab with unique carvings that was discovered in the 1830s. The carvings were similar to characters in the runic alphabet, leading some to believe that Vikings may have made their way into Oklahoma while traveling the Mississippi, Arkansas and Poteau rivers.The field trip will also take in a guided tour of the nearby Spiro Mounds -- city remnants of a trading post of the Caddoan Mississippian Culture of Native Americans who lived in the Mississippi and Arkansas river basin during the time a Scandinavian explorer may have been in the river valley.