More than three years after Yale University announced that it would put the infamous Vinland Map through a through a series of high-tech tests to determine once and for all whether the allegedly medieval depiction of Greenland and the Canadian coast was in fact a fake, the results are in. It is, in fact, a fake, as has long been suspected. New analysis of the ink used to draw the map found that, as earlier researchers has concluded, the ink is modern. It dates no earlier than the 1920s. While the identity of the forger is not known, and the exact time of forgery hasn't been determined, the new evidence should (but probably cannot) put to rest claims that the map is the oldest cartographic depiction of part of North America in European history.
Since the 1960s, when Yale acquired the map and published a scholarly monograph about it, the Vinland Map has been a regular feature in books about ancient "mysteries" and, in the last thirty years, it has been a staple of cable TV conspiracy shows. A conference in 1966 and repeated research since then produced strong arguments and evidence that the map was a fake. The new research offers still more scientific evidence that the map is a modern hoax.
Yale's news release about the news research laid out the key findings:
The analysis revealed that a titanium compound used in inks first produced in the 1920s pervades the map’s lines and text.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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