The Vinlandia Map, considered the first representation of the New World and dated back to the 15th century, it is made with 20th century ink, according to the results of an exhaustive analysis carried out by a team of curators and scientists from the yale university, in whose library it has been kept since the sixties.
They already existed serious doubts about the authenticity of this world map, the importance of which is that it represents a “Vinlanda Island”, a section of the North American coast to the southwest of Greenland, which supposedly showed that the Vikings had charted American lands before the arrival of Columbus.
“It’s false”Raymond Clemens, curator of ancient books and manuscripts at the Yale Library, said in a statement. There is no reasonable doubt about it. This new analysis should put an end to the matter, “he insisted.
Yale’s new analysis has examined the elemental composition of the entire document using state-of-the-art tools and techniques that were previously unavailable.
Medieval scribes used to write with iron gall ink, composed of iron sulfate, powdered gall nuts, and a binder, but it is hardly present on the map. On the other hand the scan revealed both in the lines of the map and in the text that accompanies the presence of a compound of titanium that only started used in inks in the twenties of last century.
The study has also found evidence that cheated from the parchment of the map was deliberate and very complex. It was found bound with two medieval manuscripts which are authentic, the ‘Hystoria Tartorum’ and the ‘Speculum Historiale’, which date between 1400 and 1460, and are thought to have been written by the same scribe.
Specialists think that the map was drawn on a parchment that belonged to ‘Speculum Historiale’. It has on its back a Latin inscription that the analysis has concluded that it is overwritten with modern ink containing titanium to look like instructions to bind the map into the genuine 15th century manuscript.
“The altered inscription certainly seems an attempt to make believe that the map was created at the same time as the ‘Speculum Historiale”, has underlined Clemens, who has continued, “it is a powerful proof that it is a forgery, not a innocent creation.
The Vinlandia Map will remain in the Yale Library together with the accompanying manuscripts. «The map has become a historical object in itself. It is a great example of a forgery that had an international impact and is an integral part of the ‘Speculum Historiale’, which is a truly fascinating manuscript, ”concluded Clemens.
In the 1960s, a series of archaeological discoveries were made at L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland. They confirmed that the Vikings had built settlements in America long before Columbus sailed, however there is no evidence that they mapped it.