The Newport Tower

The Newport Tower
Medieval stone tower ... in Rhode Island. Does it look like any other Colonial structure you've seen? Recent carbon dating of the mortar indicates 1400s construction date (see post below).

The Westford Knight Sword

The Westford Knight Sword
Medieval Battle Sword ... in Westford, Massachusetts. Can anyone deny the pommel, hilt and blade punch-marked into the bedrock?

The Spirit Pond Rune Stone

The Spirit Pond Rune Stone
Medieval Inscription ... in Maine, near Popham Beach. Long passed off as a hoax, but how many people know the Runic language? And how is it that some of the Runic characters match rare runes on inscriptions found in Minnesota and Rhode Island? Carbon-dating of floorboards at nearby long house date to 1405.

The Narragansett Rune Stone

The Narragansett Rune Stone
Medieval Inscription ... in Rhode Island's Narragansett Bay. This Runic inscription is only visible for twenty minutes a day at low tide--is this also the work of a modern-day, Runic-speaking hoaxster?

The Westford Boat Stone

The Westford Boat Stone
Medieval Ship Carving ... in Westford, MA. Found near the Westford Knight site. Weathering patterns of carving are consistent with that of 600-year-old artifact. And why would a Colonial trail-marker depict a knorr, a 14th-century ship?

The Kensington Rune Stone

The Kensington Rune Stone
Medieval Inscription... in Minnesota. Forensic geology confirms the carvings predate European settlement of Minnesota--so did Runic-speaking Native Americans carve it?

The Hooked X Rune

The Hooked X Rune
Medieval Runic Character ... on inscriptions found in Maine, Minnesota and Rhode Island. But this rare rune was only recently found in Europe. This conclusively disproves any hoax theory while also linking these three artifacts together.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

1325 Date on Newport Tower?

I visited the Newport Tower last Friday to investigate claims that the date "1325" appears on the Tower and is its likely date of construction. I came away unconvinced.

Researcher Gary Gianotti identified two different locations on the Tower which he believes contain the 1325 date. First, on a capstone of a northern-facing pillar (see pair of light-colored rectangular rocks; capstone in question is the one to the right):


We visited at night and were able to bring a latter inside the fence to closely examine the capstone. We wet it down and examined it using low-angle light, which tends to best highlight carvings in stone. While I could see a "1" mark and part of what might be a "3" next to it, I did not see the "2" or "5". That is not to say the date did not at one point exist--I simply can not see it now.

In addition, a second smaller stone on the inside of this pillar contains some carvings that Mr. Gianotti believes reflect the 1325 date.


Again, after wetting the stone and examining it with low-angle lighting, I could see what may be a series of 3 dates one atop the other; the top one I believe reads 1826 and the bottom one 1848; I did not see the 1325 date on the middle one as Mr. Gianotti does.

Mr. Gianotti also has identified what he believes to be Anglo-Saxon runes on the right side of this smaller stone, which if validated may provide clues to the Tower's origin.

I commend Mr. Gianotti on his research, and look forward to investigating more of his findings.

I was joined on this investigation by past and/or present NEARA Board members Steve DiMarzo, Rick Lynch and Jim Egan.

[Photos courtesy Gary Gianotti and Steve DiMarzo.]

6 comments:

Lynn Brant said...

Whatever may or may not be carved into those stones, there is no way to determine when it was done. Someone could have carved 1325 along with some runes, in 1850. Theories like this are launched, and then when they are dispelled, it only leads people to conclude, "Oh yeah, it must be colonial."

David Brody said...

I agree with you, Lynn. But I'm not sure we can just ignore these possible findings--don't we have to at least examine them and, if they seem promising, preserve them? As science evolves, someday we may be able to conclusively date stone carvings.

Anonymous said...

David,
Five years ago, I worked for a Danish Company, Novo Nordisk Engineeering, based in Copenhagen. I was travelling with Gert Moelgaard, Sr. VP Engineering, and we visited the Newport Stone Tower. He believed at the time it was a Viking structure. His subsequent research, complete with pictures, indicated it was very similar in appearance and construction to those known to have been built by Vikings throughtout Europe, circa 990 AD.

David Brody said...

I agree there are many similarities between the Tower and Norse structures in Europe. Your dating would link the Tower to the Leif Ericsson voyages, which is definitely a possibility!

Dennis Grimm said...

Is there any info on the newport rune stone? I believe translation is here we stand and fight/conquer. This stone is very close to the newport tower.

David Brody said...

Dennis Grim, are you referring to the Narragansett Rune Stone, found across the bay from the Tower? If so, my understanding is that there are numerous translations of that carving, with no consensus yet emerging.