Yale announced the map in 1965. The (Vinland Map.) It was a map of the world, dated to AD 1440, showing an island, Vinland, identified as part of the
NE American coastline. As such, it was the earliest map to show America. As such, it proved that the Vikings, not Columbus, were the first to discover
America. For some time, scholars had been looking for evidence like the Vinland Map. Increasingly, they were becoming convinced that the Vikings had
discovered America. But there was no archeological evidence to prove it. And the Vinland Map appeared, seemingly providing that evidence. And then
shortly thereafter, archaeological evidence appeared. At the tip of Newfoundland.
That archaeological discovery showing Vinland and Greenland occurred just as the Vinland Map was being shown to the public for the first time. Once
the Viking settlement had been discovered, the Vinland Map wasn't needed as evidence to prove a Norse presence. Rather, the discovery of the Viking
landfall in 1965 seemed to legitimize the idea that the Vinland Map was genuine. Paul Mellon, a Yale alumnus and benefactor, had bought it for $1M in
1959, promising to give it to Yale if Yale could first authenticate it. So, for years, three scholars from the British Museum and the Yale Library
experts in maps and manuscripts worked to authenticate it, without divulging its existence to scholars or to the outside world..
The three scholars were convinced that the Map was genuine and they were committed to proving it so (to obtain the map). In 1965, as soon as the
authentication was completed and published, the Map's existence was announced to the world... and Yale became the owner of the Map. (Currently, the
Map is insured for $25M.)
If it is truly a 15th century map, where has it been for the past 500 years?
Where did the Map come from? It first appears in 1957 in the possession of a shady Italian book dealer Enzo Ferrajoli, subsequently put in prison
for stealing rare books from ancient libraries. In 1957, Ferrajoli brought the Map to the British Museum to be authenticated. (At that time, it was
bound, in a modern binding, to an antique volume dating to the 1440s, the Tartar Relation TR.) Ferrajoli's request for authentication was denied and,
later, he sold the Map to Laurence Witten, a New Haven book dealer, for $3,500. Another antique volume, also dating to the 1440s, the Speculum
Historiale SH, then mysteriously appeared, as an item in the rare book trade, also brokered by Ferrajoli. The SH then passed into Witten's
possession; whereupon Witten noticed that the wormholes on the SH, the TR and the Map all matched. Originally all three could have been bound
together. This seemed to date the Map to the 1440s, thereby authenticating it. This evidence provided the rationale for Mellon's $1M purchase.
If genuine, how could the Map have been drawn in 1440 AD?
How could Vinland have been mapped in such detail on the Vinland Map? Watermarks suggest that the Map was created in Basel in AD 1440. The Viking
settlement on Vinland was established and abandoned around AD 1000. How did the cartographic information survive 450 years to be drawn on the Map in
Basel? It would have had to have been written down in the early Norse Sagas [AD 1100 - 1200]. (No record of such a Saga survives.) In the intervening
100-200 years, between the experience in Vinland and the recording in a saga, all knowledge would have had to have been handed down by word of mouth.
Other means would not have been possible. No Norse maps have survived: the Norse never made maps: there is no word in Old Norse for map. With what
accuracy could detailed geography have been encoded in speech and transmitted from generation to generation?
If it was forged, who could have forged a work of such complexity?
No forger need be identified in order to demonstrate that the VM is a fake. That said, there is great interest to know who did it, why, how and
when. So far, only one possible candidate has been proposed, Father Josef Fischer (1858-1944). Kirsten Seaver discusses the case for Fischer in her
book Maps, Myths and Men, the most penetrating analysis, to date, of the Vinland Map. It is a matter of some relief to be able to identify someone who
could have forged the Map. Little evidence is available to identify the forger. In some ways Father Fischer seems plausible: in others he does not.
Evidence from carbon-14 dating shows that the VM underwent a massive intervention no earlier than 1953: Father Fischer died in 1944
If it was forged, why was it forged?
Assigning motives may not be straightforward. In faking paintings by Vermeer, van Meegeren earned many millions and fooled the critics who,
earlier, had rejected his own paintings. Revenge and greed could not have motivated Father Fischer. Instead Seaver suggests it was a prank.
There's a lot of different takes on this subject.
Discovered in 1957 and hailed as the earliest map of the New World, the Vinland Map charted Norse exploration of the Americas long before Christopher
Columbus. After decades of controversy, however, an amateur historian may finally have demonstrated that it is a clever hoax: the map occupies a sheet
of parchment that was relatively unremarkable 120 years ago.
In 1972, the results of chemical analysis of the map's ink raised doubts about its authenticity. McCrone Associates' Walter McCrone removed and
analyzed portions of the map's ink. McCrone concluded that the ink contained a significant amount of titanium anatase in it, a material scientists
thought was invented after 1920.
In 1985, Dr Thomas Cahill of the University of California at Davis, was secretly given the map by Yale University for four days. Cahill analyzed the
map and the ink using a new process called PIXE or Particle Induced X-ray Emission tests. The results were startling because Cahill found only a
minute presence of titanium anatase, which scientists have since discovered occurs naturally..
I haven't really seen anything hard proving either way in 13. Firstly they need to prove without a doubt it is legitimate.
Very thought provoking.... Thanks for the thread.
The Vinland Map
The Vinland Map Proved Fake