A document which is either,

A) a 15th century copy of an earlier Norse map recording the Viking 10th and 11th century exploration of North America, or

B) a fake concocted by a group of unscrupulous book dealers who thereby managed to scam some 300,000 USD(*).

Generally speaking, persons associated with Yale University take up position A) whilst the rest of the world inclines to B).

The Vinland map first surfaced in the late 1950's. It was shown to, and rejected by, the British Library, and ended up under the control of a book dealer, Laurence Witten. With the support of the Yale University librarian, Thomas Marston, he persuaded Paul Mellon to purchase the document and donate the map to the university. Yale announced the "discovery" of the Vinland Map in October 1965. Naturally, it has sought to maintain its "authenticity" ever since, given that a genuine Vinland map would be a very valuable commercial commodity indeed.

It is however, undoubtedly a fake since

  1. Micro analysis of the composition of the inks used on the map places its origins very firmly in the 20th century
  2. Analysis of the history of the source and acquisition of the document reveals its highly questionable provenance
  3. An analysis of the document itself shows a number of historical anachronisms inconsistent with its supposed 15th century origins

(*) As in 1958 US dollars, multiply by a factor of six to get 2001 US dollars


Update for the Vinland Map and the Turin Shroud by Dr. Walter C. McCrone (at www.mcri.org/vm_shroud_update.html)

Vinland Re-read by Paul Saenger, Imago Mundi - The International Journal for the History of Cartography Vol. 50 (1998)

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.