Researchers this month declared that much-debated map of the U.S. that some had claimed was drawn by Vikings prior to Columbus's journey here, is unquestionably a forgery:
Acquired by Yale in the mid-1960s, the purported 15th-century map depicts a pre-Columbian "Vinlanda Insula," a section of North America's coastline southwest of Greenland. While earlier studies had detected evidence of modern inks at various points on the map, the new Yale analysis examined the entire document's elemental composition using state-of-the-art tools and techniques that were previously unavailable.
The analysis revealed that a titanium compound used in inks first produced in the 1920s pervades the map's lines and text.
"The Vinland Map is a fake," said Raymond Clemens, curator of early books and manuscripts at Yale's Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, which houses the map. "There is no reasonable doubt here. This new analysis should put the matter to rest."
Fans of Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci are no doubt rejoicing over this news, though the Vikings still retain their historical credit for discovering Greenland, wherever that is.
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