The Spirit Pond runestones are three stones with runic inscriptions, allegedly found at Spirit Pond in ,_Maine Phippsburg, Maine, United States, in 1971 by a Walter J. Elliott, Jr., a carpenter born in Bath, Maine. The stones, currently housed at the Maine State Museum, are widely dismissed as a hoax or a fraud. If authentic, they would be evidence of pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact and Norse colonization of the Americas.
Unlike the prehistoric monumental runestones raised in Scandinavia, the Maine stones are small handheld objects similar to the authentic Kingittorsuaq Runestone found in Greenland in 1824.
Of the three stones, one contains a total of 15 lines of 'text' on two sides. The map stone contains a map with some inscriptions.
The inscriptions contain several instances of the use of pentadic numerals in arabic placement. The number 1011 appearing on the inscription (represented as "011") has been interpreted as a date, leading to speculation that the stones are connected to the expedition of Thorfinn Karlsefni. Linguistic analysis, however, points to a later date. The first to study the stones scientifically was Harvard University professor Einar Haugen. In 1974, after transcribing, he found the individual runes used and the language of the inscription to be inconsistent with 11th century Old Norse. He also noted peculiarities relating the inscriptions directly to the Kensington Runestone inscription. Thus, he concluded that the inscriptions were most likely created after 1932.
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