In 1928, She Visited The Site of A Stone Carved With Strange Inscriptions In Oklahoma, And It Was Then That Her Lifelong Investigation Into The Stone’s True Origins Began

Martha Marks - - illustrative purposes only

One woman’s deep interest in unearthing the background of a stone carved with strange inscriptions led to it becoming a historical monument.

That stone is the Heavener Runestone, located in eastern Oklahoma. The massive slab of rock is ten feet by twelve feet and is inscribed with eight symbols.

It was first discovered in the 1830s by a group of Choctaw hunters. For a while, locals in the area referred to it as the “Indian Rock,” believing that the carvings were made by Native Americans. However, the Smithsonian Institution later determined the characters on the rock to be Scandinavian.

In 1928, a girl named Gloria Farley visited the site and became utterly fascinated by the markings on the stone. It was then that her lifelong investigation into the stone’s true origins began.

Throughout her life, she traveled across the United States and various other places to compare the stone’s carvings with different markings. After reaching out to the Smithsonian, she learned that the runes read “GNOMEDAL,” which translates to “monument valley” or “sundial.”

Farley became curious about whether Vikings from Scandinavia were able to sail to America and if they had been the ones to make the etchings on the rock.

She based her theory on the belief that a Norseman named Leif Erikson had made it to modern-day Canada 500 years before Columbus ever set foot in America.

If that was possible, then it was reasonable to think that they might’ve traveled up the Mississippi River and landed in what we now know to be Oklahoma. Her views were further supported when some locals encountered two more runestones a mile apart.

However, there were skeptics. Not everyone was convinced that Vikings had arrived in America before Columbus. One archaeologist specializing in the Viking period declared that the evidence linking the stone to be a Viking artifact was ambiguous.

Martha Marks – – illustrative purposes only

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