In Nordic cultures of a thousand years past, communication was almost always word-of-mouth, making rune stones the multimedia of that era.
“This was about the only writing they came across,” said Williams of runic inscriptions that blend art and alphabet.
The Town Council has agreed that the stone should be displayed in Updike Park in Wickford.
He showed how the hooked X was a reference to the Cross of Lorraine, a slanted cross with one shorter and one longer crossbar.
In speaking of the Templars exploring North America, he said the Native Americans wiped out the Vikings in the 1200s, when they didnt bother to appreciate the Native American way of life.
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Several history displays are maintained to help interpret the Rune Stone Park story.
“The multimedia aspect comes from the fact that when you encountered rune stones, they were set in a specific place in the landscape,” he said.
Sometimes by graves, often by roads and bridges, a runic inscription conveyed information about society and geography, while also providing public art.
Williams is in the Twin Cities next month, speaking Nov.
1-2 at the Minnesota History Center and the American Swedish Institute.
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