Kehoe, Alice. The Kensington Runestone: Approaching a Research Question Holistically.

Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press, 2005.

Kehoe is one of the very few professional archaeologists willing to argue with the orthodox position regarding the possibility of Europeans in the interior of North America before the 16th century — and it says something about the more common rigidity of scientific thinking that she had to go to such an obscure publisher to get this short book published.


Published in: on 14 November 2015 at 7:16 am  Leave a Comment  
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Davis, Graeme. Vikings in America.

Edinburgh: Birlinn, 2009.

Half a century ago, in They All Discovered America, Michael Boland identified what he called the “NEBC Principle” — “No Europeans Before Columbus.” This is the general attitude of most professional academic historians and they tend to condemn any contrary discussion without even considering the alternatives.


Published in: on 8 September 2015 at 8:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Feder, Kenneth L. Encyclopedia of Dubious Archaeology.

Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood, 2010.

Feder is a working anthropologist from Connecticut with a particular interest in fraudulent archaeology and he’s written several earlier books. He does good service with this volume of short articles in pointing out the idiocy of belief in Atlantis, or Van Daniken, or “King Tut’s Curse,” or the Shroud of Turin, or the Mayan end of the world in 2012 — although none of these actually are archaeological.


Published in: on 20 April 2015 at 6:47 am  Leave a Comment  
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Holland, Cecelia. Two Ravens.

NY: Knopf, 1977.

Holland has written more than thirty novels in the past forty-plus years, and while all of them have been (to my mind) at least above average, her style has changed somewhat over time. This one is from her “early period,” which means short declarative sentences, a straightforward and unadorned narrative style, and a tendency to under-explain, to let the reader draw his own conclusions as to the characters’ motivations and inner mental workings.


Holland, Cecelia. Varanger.

NY: Tor, 2008.

Holland, who is almost exactly my age, has been writing historical fiction since college, and I’ve been an avid reader of her work since the beginning. She’s covered the whole length and breadth of history and geography in that time. Lately, she’s been doing a series about early medieval Norse/Irish culture featuring settlers in Vinland and the wars of Sven Forkbeard and the introduction of Scandinavian fighting men into 10th-century Constantinople.


Vinding, Niels. The Viking Discovery of America, 985 to 1008: The Greenland Norse and Their Voyages to Newfoundland.

Lewiston, NY: Edward Mellen Press, 2005.

When I was a freshman in college, a friend gave me a copy of Michael Boland’s newly-published book, They All Discovered America. I’d read about the supposed voyage by Leif Erikson to the New World but Boland took the position that the Norse Icelandic Greenlanders (who were not “vikings,” a completely inaccurate label, being only a job description and not an ethnic or national designation) were only one group among many. He made interesting cases for the Phoenicians, Romans, Irish, Portuguese, Venetians, Chinese, Africans, and Arabs, not to mention English fishermen from Bristol. (I’ll ignore the Eurocentric issue of whether one can “discover” a continent already filled with native inhabitants.)