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Authors to discuss 450-year gap in history at museum

Robert G. Johnson and Janey Westin, co-authors of the book The Last Kings of Norse America - Runestone Keys To a Lost Empire, will speak at the Runestone Museum in Alexandria on Thursday, May 10 at 1 p.m. (Contributed photo)

Robert G. Johnson and Janey Westin, co-authors of the book The Last Kings of Norse America - Runestone Keys To a Lost Empire, will speak at the Runestone Museum in Alexandria on Thursday, May 10 at 1 p.m.

In the book, Johnson and Westin address a 450-year gap in American history between the 1492 voyage of Christopher Columbus and the Vinland voyages of Leif Eriksson and Thorfinn Karlsefni shortly after A.D. 1000.

Johnson received his Ph.D. from Iowa State University. After a career in industrial research, he joined the Department of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Minnesota (U of M) to work on the mystery of past climate variations. He has published many research papers and one book.

Westin, initially a professional calligrapher, pursued paleographic studies of medieval manuscripts, stone inscriptions, the structure of letter forms and the tools and materials of the trade. This work expanded into stone letter carving and sculpting. She is a longstanding member of The Colleagues of Calligraphy. She attended the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and has a Bachelor of Arts in Japanese from the U of M.

The book resulted from a joint 10-year effort between the two authors. Both will be available to sign books.

There is no cost for members of the museum; cost is $5 for nonmembers. For information, call the Runestone Museum at (320) 763-3160.

WHAT: Robert Johnson and Janey Westin, authors of The Last Kings of Norse America, to give presentation

WHEN: Thursday, May 10 1 p.m.

WHERE: Runestone Museum, Alexandria

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