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"Vinland Map" Parchment Predates Columbus's Arrival In North America

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Bianca
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« on: January 14, 2009, 09:26:25 am »









                                         Scientists Determine Age Of New World Map;


                       "Vinland Map" Parchment Predates Columbus's Arrival In North America






ScienceDaily
(July 30, 2002)

— Scientists from the University of Arizona, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the Smithsonian Institution have used carbon-dating technology to determine the age of a controversial parchment that might be the first-ever map of North America. In a paper to be published in the July 2002 issue of the journal Radiocarbon, the scientists conclude that the so-called “Vinland Map” parchment dates to approximately 1434 A.D., or nearly 60 years before Christopher Columbus set foot in the West Indies.

“Many scholars have agreed that if the Vinland Map is authentic, it is the first known cartographic representation of North America, and its date would be key in establishing the history of European knowledge of the lands bordering the western Atlantic Ocean,” said chemist Garman Harbottle, the lead Brookhaven researcher on the project. “If it is, in fact, a forgery, then the forger was surely one of the most skillful criminals ever to pursue that line of work.”

Housed in Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the map shows Europe (including Scandinavia), Northern Africa, Asia and the Far East, all of which were known by 15th-century travelers. In the northwest Atlantic Ocean, however, it also shows the “Island of Vinland,” which has been taken to represent an unknown part of present-day Labrador, Newfoundland, or Baffin Island. Text on the map reads, in part, “By God's will, after a long voyage from the island of Greenland to the south toward the most distant remaining parts of the western ocean sea, sailing southward amidst the ice, the companions Bjarni and Leif Eiriksson discovered a new land, extremely fertile and even having vines, ... which island they named Vinland.”

The map, drawn in ink and measuring 27.8 x 41.0 centimeters, surfaced in Europe in the mid-1950s, but had no distinct record of prior ownership or provenance in any famous library. The map and the accompanying “Tartar Relation,” a manuscript of undoubted authenticity that was at some point bound with the Vinland Map in book form, were purchased in 1958 for $1 million by Paul A. Mellon, known for his many important gifts to Yale, and, at Mellon's request, subjected to an exhaustive six-year investigation.

In 1965 the Yale University Press published “The Vinland Map and the Tartar Relation,” a detailed study by R.A. Skelton, T. E. Marston and G. D. Painter that firmly argued for the map’s authenticity, connecting it with the Catholic Church’s Council of Basel (A.D. 1431-1449), which was convened a half-century before Columbus’s voyage. Two scientific conferences, in 1966 and 1996, featured strong debates over the map’s authenticity, but no final determination could be made based on the available facts.


Beginning in 1995, Harbottle, along with Douglas J. Donahue, University of Arizona, and Jacqueline S. Olin, Smithsonian Center for Materials Research and Education, undertook a detailed scientific study of the parchment. The scientists traveled to Yale, where they were allowed to trim a 3-inch-long sliver off the bottom edge of the parchment for analysis. Using the National Science Foundation-University of Arizona’s Accelerator Mass Spectrometer, the scientists determined a precision date of 1434 A.D. plus or minus 11 years. The unusually high precision of the date was possible because the parchment’s date fell in a very favorable region of the carbon-14 dating calibration curve. This new analysis of the map parchment reaffirms the association with the Council of Basel since it dates exactly to that time period, and makes a strong case for the map’s authenticity.

Several previous studies challenging the map’s authenticity have focused on the chemical composition of the ink used to draw it. Some initial work found anatase, a particular form of titanium dioxide, in the ink. Since anatase only went into commercial production in the 20th century, some concluded that the ink was also a 20th-century product, making the map a forgery. Recent testing, however, only revealed trace quantities of titanium, whose presence may be a result of contamination, the chemical deterioration of the ink over the centuries, or may even have been present naturally in the ink used in medieval times. Another recent study detected carbon, which has also has been presented as evidence of a forgery. However, carbon can also be found in medieval ink. Current carbon-dating technology does not permit the dating of samples as small as the actual ink lines on the map.

“While the date result itself cannot prove that the map is authentic, it is an important piece of new evidence that must be considered by those who argue that the map is a forgery and without cartographic merit,” said Harbottle.



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Adapted from materials provided by Smithsonian Institution.
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 MLA Smithsonian Institution (2002, July 30). Scientists Determine Age Of New World Map; "Vinland Map" Parchment Predates Columbus's Arrival In North America. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 14, 2009, from



http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2002/07/020730075001.htm
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Boreas
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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2009, 07:13:42 pm »

Quote
Using the National Science Foundation-University of Arizona’s Accelerator Mass Spectrometer, the scientists determined a precision date of 1434 A.D. plus or minus 11 years.

Well - that's it, really.

Proposing that the content of anastase and carbon in the ink should contradict the age of the paper is nothing but biased speculations from panik-stroken fundamentalists, who have exposed themselves as "convinced sceptics" to the map - well before the carbon-dating. And now hey cant admit their bad luck, of course... Cry

Besides - charcoal and (natural) anastase was very well known by the famous painters of the middle-ages. Just ask any well-educated art-historian...  Wink
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Bianca
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« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2009, 07:30:23 pm »





         
« Last Edit: February 03, 2009, 07:41:14 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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Bianca
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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2009, 07:32:50 pm »










                            Vindication For Vinland Map: New Study Supports Authenticity






ScienceDaily
(Nov. 28, 2003)

— Recent conclusions that the storied Vinland Map is merely a clever forgery are based on a flawed understanding of the evidence, according to a scientist at the Smithsonian Institution. Results from last year's study debunking the map's authenticity can also be construed to boost the validity of its medieval origins, the scientist claims.

The report will appear in the Dec. 1 edition of Analytical Chemistry, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

The Vinland Map is a drawing of Iceland, Greenland and the northeastern seaboard of North America that has been dated to the mid-15th century, suggesting that Norse explorers charted North America long before Columbus. The map, which has had a contentious history since its discovery in the 1950s, resides at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Yale University. It has been valued at more than $20 million.

"Many scholars have agreed that if the Vinland Map is authentic, it is the only existing cartographic representation of North America prior to Columbus," says Jacqueline Olin, a member of the advisory committee of the Smithsonian Center for Materials Research and Education in Washington, D.C. "Its date is important in establishing the history of European knowledge of the lands bordering the western North Atlantic, and the deeper question of Columbus's own possible awareness."

In July 2002, two papers about the Vinland Map were published simultaneously in separate scientific journals — one in Radiocarbon, which set a date for the map's parchment at about 1434 using carbon dating; and another in Analytical Chemistry, claiming that the map is really just a clever 20th-century forgery on medieval parchment.

Olin, who was involved in the Radiocarbon research, wrote the new Analytical Chemistry paper in response to the controversy sparked by last year's dueling papers.

Since the age of the parchment is not in dispute, Olin says, "The information needed to prove that the Vinland Map is medieval rests with the ink used to draw it."

Before the development of the printing press, manuscripts were written in either carbon-based inks or iron gallotannate inks. Erosion of the latter often leads to yellow staining - a feature exhibited by the Vinland Map.

In last year's Analytical Chemistry paper, British researchers analyzed the ink with Raman microprobe spectroscopy and claimed that it is made up of two parts: a yellowish line that adheres strongly to the parchment overlaid with a black line that appears to have flaked off.

Because they found the black line contained carbon, the researchers assumed the ink was not iron gallotannate, meaning there should be no yellow staining. They proposed that the yellow line was put there by a clever forger who knew it was a common feature of medieval manuscripts. This line contained anatase, a precipitated form of titanium dioxide. Since anatase was not synthesized until 1917, they considered this as evidence that the Vinland Map is a forgery.

To the contrary, the ink may help prove the map's authenticity, says Olin. "The presence of carbon in an ink is not evidence that the ink is a carbon ink," she says. "It could just as well have been iron gall ink to which carbon has been added as a colorant." Carbon was added to medieval iron gall inks to enable scribes to view their writing while the transparent ink mixture was reacting to form its black color.

"The source of the iron in medieval inks is green vitriol, an iron sulfate," Olin continues. "Green vitriol would include anatase if the iron source from which it was made included the iron-titanium mineral ilmenite."

Researchers have reported the absence of ilmenite in the ink of the Vinland Map, but that would only mean it was not present in the sulfate used to make the ink, Olin says. In earlier work, she made a simulated 15th century ink using ilmenite for the preparation of green vitriol. The resulting ink contained anatase, and no ilmenite.

There has also been no discussion about the significance of the other elements found in the ink, Olin says. She used archaeological reports to show that the presence of copper, aluminum and zinc — all found in the Vinland Map's ink — would be consistent with medieval production methods from green vitriol. Additionally, these elements raise serious doubts about the possibility of forgery, because 20th century iron gall inks would not be produced using medieval hydrometallurgy, which is responsible for the presence of these elements. No forger in the first half of the 20th century could be expected to know about these extra components, according to Olin.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Adapted from materials provided by American Chemical Society.
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 MLA American Chemical Society (2003, November 28). Vindication For Vinland Map: New Study Supports Authenticity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 3, 2009, from



http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2003/11/031128083243.htm
« Last Edit: February 03, 2009, 07:38:05 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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Bianca
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« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2009, 07:44:59 pm »

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