Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Map of the Week - The Vinland Map

The Vinland Map is a controversial map that would indicate that the Vikings came to North America before Columbus*. The map was uncovered in the 1950's along with a tract dating from the 1440's. It shows an island west of Greenland referred to as "Vinilanda Insula". Much doubt has been cast about the authenticity of this map, from the binding to varying Carbon dating results to the inks possibly containing synthetic pigments that did not appear until the 1920's. The map is currently housed at Yale University's Beinecke Library.

Webexhibits has this page where you can analyze the evidence and make your own decision about the authenticity of the map. If you want pages of detailed info. click the map above and you'll get it!

* This type of statement has been repeated by numerous web sites discussing the map. I'm not sure why that is controversial given that there is significant evidence of a much earlier Viking presence in North America, for example the settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland.

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