Re: [ancient_waterways_society] Margaret Leuthner; Reply pt 3 Memorial
Here is a repeat send of a Memorial Post for Margaret I sent to yahoo’s Epigraphy forum at the time (Sept 2004). This is to perhaps better familiarize others who did not know Margaret personally with more of her background.
It is with deep regret that I must announce the passing of a great Mind from our midst. The somewhat eccentric but undoubtably Mensa brilliant cryptographer Margaret Leuthner has stepped off the mortal coil this month.
She suffered a massive coronary on the weekend of Sept 4-5 but stubbornly held onto life until the following Wednesday, 8 Sept 2004, when she slipped away. Margaret was 81. She had been raised in a household where her Dad was a forensics detective his whole career. A delight and craving for detailed puzzle solving was ingrained from Margaret's childhood and she took her love of Language into a career setting as an English teacher and educational Librarian. For many years she taught in the Duluth, MN area then moved with her husband and family to Alexandria MN, where her children and grandkids have established musician, real estate and law careers.
Leuthner (pronounced Light-ner) was for 45 years a dedicated and incisively intense code-breaker working on the Kensington Runestone's apparent layering of 'hidden meaning' she was convinced was imbedded in the text. It is to my satisfaction, having worked with her as a graphic artist, that there is quite some legitimacy to much of her investigation.
Our minds worked by such different circuitry that I could not follow her trail of decipherment to a great degree. I am visually oriented where she was so synapses-wired for letter disposition and word patterns that we had frustrations sometimes just trying to settle on a basic illustration. She simply could not describe anything by pictoral adjective, and I could not grasp her non-linear oversight to the fabric of the text as it lay in her perceived design.
However, there is the fact that pagan 'and' Christian medieval authors of memorial stones and public works actually competed in hiding cryptological messages in the monuments' creation as it lent an aire of added conjuring, prayer and protection. For the KRS to NOT have such layers to some degree would be a point in the critics corner. Any good epitaph writer of those times would not have left out that element.
I'm at least satisfied that Ivar, the presiding Padre traveling with the knorr's Quest crew, managed to incript his name as well as several main others of the companions. Ivar composed the message, incryption and physical layout; while Ari, his deacon and shipsmaster, was the actual person to cut the runes. So seems the indications Margaret worked out.
This idea is backed up by Janey Westin's independant physical investigation of the KRS at the museum in Alexandria, MN. JW is a professional Stone Cutter and Calligrapher in many mediums including minerals, fabrics and papers. Her work is found in and on religious and secular buildings throughout the US. As far back as 1991 she won the MN "Artists Award" at the Am'n Craft Council Expo. Her expertise as a Stone Carver has branched out into archaeological and artifact dating of inscription cuttings from archaic to modern. Westin is considered an acredited consultation expert in stone calligraphics.
In a public press meeting, Westin announced her detailed examination of the rune cuttings on the KRS. This was before the Stone had a chance to be examined by Scott Wolter's high-tech lab. Jane’s analysis was the first time the KRS had been given a scientific, microscopic view in its history. Westin herself was convinced that the person who composed the text was indeed a
scholar and calligrapher himself. But the hand that actually did the carving was inexperienced with chisel and stone, in Janey's opinion. So much so that the actual carver did not know the simplest of slanting or circle techniques; merely a direct strike with a straight edge or pecking with an awl-shaped point to go around a curve.
Margaret Leuthner was very pleased to see her decrypted findings confirmed in this physical way, she had said it was a scholar and sailor, not a stonecarver, who cut the rock. Yet she met with frustration that “no one else” would listen to her or give her a 'point' for predicting the situation.
Most of the community had written her off by hearsay about being ‘too crazy’ even among the KRS supporters, simply because they could not follow her concepts. In my opinion, she did not get the respect she was aptly due. She was ‘ahead of her time’ and now her concepts laid as seeds are being proven out in more general practice.
Margaret was consistantly baffled that certain rune observations have not been acknowledged even by the professionals who tout the inscription as authentic. Mere 'crosses' inside circles are not being translated as clear "N" runes (the cross arm slants, is not straight). That could make major changes to the translation possibilities right there. If 'umlauts' are actually apostrophes, as Neilsen postulates, why cant he also see that other contractions and meaning-extrapolations could be rendered from yet another clue? (the 'n' inside the "O")
It is also not attributed that if the inner-o crosses are tallied, they account for the number of men killed in the ambush...tribute to their graves that could not otherwise be individually marked out in the wilderness.
Leuthner began to reason that Ivar himself was, in a frontier situation, beginning to find all sorts of shortcuts and streamlining adaptions were needed in living life itself in the dingles. He was no longer At Court in "civilized" society with accoutrements and courtesies to observe. You got stuff done in the woods and went forward. Niceties and conventions aside.
This would have crept into his writing, too. Journal maintenance would have become a matter of brief, concise note-keeping. There would have been a finite supply of velum to be packed around, and it had to last the trip. When an intelligent, quick mind takes this limitation on, it would be logical to be as sparse with the runes in one page as possible, their arrangement in the log as significant as what they had to say. Personal abbreviations would have crept in. Original bindrunes developed to condense the space needed to convey a thought.
Half way thru the trek of reclamation, by the time the incident recorded on the KRS occurred, Ivar would have long solidified his personal "American Version" futhark, as Leuthner liked to call it. It was this somewhat different 'font,' if you will, that Ivar used on the Stone and that gives many critics a seeming foothold and the legit researchers headaches to defend. It makes the KRS more difficult to translate if one insists on using pure Euro-static futharks. But the differences would make it a unique signature and an authentic reaction to the traveling conditions of a Quest.
There is also an interesting thought that Margaret raised often, in that the word on the KRS, "0dh" (O-with-/ thru it) which is often translated as "Island" is also a direct synonym for "small village" in Scandinavian languages. Nielsen translates it now as "wealth/property" which also infers a settled, claimed or developed plot of land somehow. Development would indicate habitation. "Odh" as used in a 'village' meaning would also carry the concept of 'outback' or frontier-style isolation of the settlement. A respite Island in a wilderness, of human support for trekkers.
If there was one such "Island" village, being supplied by trade and successfully retaining not just European cultural practices, but also of Christianity as to be a shelter for the Questers... then would there not be more in a string along the waterways north? Margaret insisted that this offers an Idea that there was regular colonization by medieval Scandinavians in and along the Nelson /Winnipeg/ Red River systems. Both pagan and Christian.
In our many conversations, Margaret and I discussed and contested both her theories and others; in an energetic banter, sometimes. She was so far above my abilities to follow her puzzle solving, non-linear extrapolations that I am extremely poor litmus to test the correctness of her findings or not! My brain worked in such different patterns and abilities to grasp what she was saying, that I’m sure I caused her no end to frustrations in trying to communicate her strong passions for the subject.
Her deepest wish was, in an awareness that she was in her waning years, that her records be kept together and to that end, they were willed to the Douglas Co. Historical Society, as far as I know. [Alexandria, MN (320) 762-0382]
It is too early yet for the transferal of papers from family keeping and perusal to DCHS stores. But in the future, that is where Margaret said she had wanted her research efforts to be kept. Leuthner spoke often of the hope that someone else would be able to take her notes to a new level and help confirm or advance the process she had begun.
It would behoove a holistic approach, in understanding the full impact of the KRS, to include the possibilities of incrypted information 'on' the stone as well as in the linguistic text. One parting conviction Margaret voiced not a week before she passed on was that the shape of the carved stone, in conjunction with the rune placements thereon, created a map of the Runestone Hill and close countryside.
Would that map, if decyphered, indicate places of habitation that could be explored with today's archaeology? Narrow the areas to be examined with infra-red aerial photos or GPR tracking? The old addage that pokes awareness at humans' weakness to take things for granted, forever applies..."The best place to hide something is in plain view!"
Happy trails, Margaret! I'll see you again in 50 yrs, perhaps!
--- On Tue, 2/3/09, Terry J. Deveau <aa376@...> wrote:
From: Terry J. Deveau <aa376@...>
Subject: [ancient_waterways_society] Margaret Leuthner
Date: Tuesday, February 3, 2009, 6:01 AM
--- "Chris Patenaude" <yacrispyubetcha@...> wrote: > the late, brilliant cryptographer Margaret Leuthner who spent > the last 40 years of her life, to her dying day, working on > the Kensington Runestone and it's epigraphy. Hi Chris, Thanks for the note. I don't recall hearing about Margaret Leuthner before. Did she publish any books or articles of any kind? (In ESOP or anywhere at all?) Regards, Terry ------------------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Links <*> To visit your group on the web, go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ancient_waterways_society/ <*> Your email settings: Individual Email | Traditional <*> To change settings online go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ancient_waterways_society/join (Yahoo! ID required) <*> To change settings via email: mailto:email@example.com mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org <*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to: email@example.com <*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to: http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/