The Heavener Runestone is a twelve foot tall slab of sandstone that stands upright in a small ravine east of the town of Heavener Oklahoma. On the stone are eight clearly visible characters that resemble Viking runes. The match is not perfect; some of the runes are "variations" on the traditional futhark. These figures also closely resemble characters from other ancient writing systems, including some that appear to have been used by ancient North American natives.
The Viking theory has been exhaustively explored and promoted by local researcher Gloria Farley. Her book In Plain Sight describes her research, including the tale of the Heavener Runestone but also addressing other North American rock carvings. The transliteration of the runes, according to the Viking origin theory is G L O M E D A L and the translation of this is "The valley owned by Glome."
An alternate theory recently promoted by the Reverend Dr. Lee W. Woodard holds that the stone is a marker associated with the overland mission of Robert Cavelier de La Salle. This theory places the creation of the marker around the year 1687. Dr. Woodard has published his theories in the book entitled Secret La Salle Monument and Historical Marker.
Regardless of who carved the figures, the appellation of "rune stone" satifactorily describes this enormous monument. The state of Oklahoma created a park to preserve the runestone. Visitors may now examine the stone year round inside a special building built over the stone.
Below are a few links to other information about the stone and its various explanations.
Heavener Runestone State Park (official Oklahoma State Park website)
Craig Hall's SmugMug site, gorgeous pictures of the Heavener Area by a local resident.
Lin Stone's description of the park on shareyourstate.comBoth URL's above were brought to my attention by a blog entry from a displaced Oklahoman in Michigan. And finally, a review of North American runestones from Ingrid Halvorsen.
For those wondering why our Viking reenactment group is GLOMESDAL instead of GLOMEDAL, I chose to add the extra "S" in recognition of the possible translation of the inscription as "Glome's Valley." This helps justify our reenactment group in the middle of Oklahoma, so far from any other possible Viking connection. We are the descendants of Gloi, still living here in Glome's Dal.
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