The Vinland Map

Mapa Vinland

Mapa Vinland

When Yale University announced in 1965 that it had acquired a pre-Columbian map of the known world showing Viking adventures to North America, the case for the map’s authenticity seemed solid. After all, three renowned experts in medieval documents had assessed the map for Yale, taking nearly seven years to prepare what was to be the definitive defense, a weighty book titled The Vinland Map and the Tartar Relation. It argued that the map, along with the Tartar Relation and the Speculum Historiale, both undeniably genuine medieval texts, were once all bound together—a single volume created circa 1437 for use at a conference of the Roman Catholic Church. Yet Yale’s three scholars had worked in isolation, never testing their conclusions with outside experts, and as soon as Yale unveiled the map other scholars began voicing doubt. Since then Yale, to its credit, has spearheaded intensive scientific study of the map, much of which has put its authenticity in question.

To investigate the map yourself and examine evidence that it may be—and in some cases may not be—a 20th-century forgery, click on the interactive at left.




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