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VINLAND Map

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Bianca
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« on: October 04, 2007, 07:43:48 pm »








Content of map





Finally, there are a number of questions about the actual content of the map.

The original authentication team recognised that it bore strong resemblances to a map made in the 1430s by Italian mariner Andrea Bianco (oddly, even to the extent of cutting off Africa where Bianco's map has a page fold) but with changes of shape, and major revisions in the far east and west.

The most surprising thing about the revisions is that the map depicts Greenland as an island of the correct size and shape (while Norway, of which Greenland was just a colony, is wildly inaccurate) although most contemporary Scandinavian accounts– including a rare map from 1427– depict Greenland as a peninsula joined to northern Russia.

For practical purposes, the Polar ice cap made this description true, and Greenland is not known to have been successfully circumnavigated until the 20th century.

Skelton wondered also whether the revisions in the far east were meant to represent Japan, which would be another remarkable achievement for 14th century cartography. In addition, the text uses a Latin form of Leif Eriksson's name ("Erissonius") more consistent with 17th century norms and with transmission through a French or Italian source.

Thirdly, the Latin captions include several usages of the diphthong æ; this was almost unknown in later medieval times (a simple e was written instead) and although the diphthong was revived by Italian humanist scholars in the early 1400s, it is found only in documents of deliberately classicising style produced by Italian scribes, and never in conjunction with a Gothic style of script such as we see in the Map.

Finally, Vikings were known for their navigation skills and did not use maps in nautical travel.

For this reason, some experts question why this map would have been created.
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