The Kensington Runestone is a legendary viking tablet that was found in Minnesota by farmer Olof in the 19th century. As the legend goes this farmer was digging in his field when he hit a greystone rock tablet buried in the field. This tablet allededly has scandanavian runes on them from early Viking exploreres that came to North America in the early 14th Century.
The stone was dated by Geologist Winchell. He claims that the stone was 500 years old and dated from the 1200's or 1300's. While many historians believe that it was possible for the Vikings to have reached Greenland based on historical documents from Scandanavia; many doubt that the Vikings penetrated as far into North America as Minnesota. Other 'artifacts' have been allededly found along the waterways of Canada and Minnesota. These artifacts are large round boulders with holes made from chissels. It was common practice for Vikings to moor their ships along the coast and these boulders match other boulders in Europe. Along with this there was other runestones found in North America most notably the verendrye runestone and a firesteel off a viking horse was found in Minnesota as well.
Many reserachers of the Kingsington stone have claimed that the stone was a hoax. The primary basis for this arguement is that the stone's Scandanavia and Nordic grammar is more akin to 19th century Nordic than 14th century Nordic. Many claim that Olaf carved the stone on his farm and then attempted to sell it to make money. Most of the settlers in Minnesota, most notably the town Olaf was from were Nordic immigrants.
Whether the stone is a hoax or not, it has inspired renewed interest in Viking culture and early Viking expeditions to North America. Such as the Viking expedition to Green Land. Some movies reference rune stones and the Kingsington stone. I believe the stone to be legitimate because it seems unlikely that a Nordic immigrant of good standing in a small township would make a forgery to get fame and fortune. It is more likely that he found the stone and brought it to the authorities. Also, there have been numerous counter arguements that claim the stone is authentic and that the writing is from the 14th century. There are two sides to the arguement and nether is willing to budge. The most notable achievement of the Kinsington Stone is the public display of the rune stone in the Smithsonian Institution.
I believe this stone to be real and of great historical value because it shows us that the Vikings were the first european explorers to find North America and not Christopher Columbus.