Discovered in 1957 and hailed as the earliest map of the New World, the Vinland Map
charted Norse exploration of the Americas long before Christopher Columbus. After decades of controversy, however, an amateur historian may finally have demonstrated that it is a clever hoax: the map occupies a sheet of parchment that was relatively unremarkable 120 years ago
. [Sunday Times, paywalled]
Though the parchment is a genuine 15th-century relic, Glaswegian researcher John Paul Floyd says it was displayed at an 1892 event, celebrating Columbus's discoveries, without any contemporaneous reference made to the map now drawn upon it.
After it was brought to public attention in the 1960s—complete with an outline of the Canadian coastline—experts dated the map to the mid-15th century, placing it a good 50 years before the Santa Mariá's 1492 journey. But it was always controversial, thanks to its sudden appearance in the historical record.
Floyd also found that the parchment was included in a 1926 event, again without any mention of the remarkable map of the Americas that it now contains. He believes that it was stolen at some point between then and the late 1950s, the map forged, and ultimately bound to the other medieval documents where it would be discovered. He believes that the Vinland map also includes characteristics found in an 18th-century reproduction of a 1463 world map: more evidence that it's a fake.
The British Library's head of cartographical and topographical materials says that the scientific community is taking Floyd's report seriously: "Sometimes it takes an outsider to see the obvious," he told The Sunday Times.
• Gallery: Digitizing the past and present at the Library of Congress
• A Native American woman in Iceland
Dip your dollar into liquid anhydrous ammonia, dry it, and repeat. The surface tension of the boiling and evaporating ammonia shrinks the bill. Caveat: It could prove difficult to use a mini-dollar and mutilating a bill may even be illegal. (Applied Science via Weird Universe)
In many states in America, legislatures have erected punitive, vindictive barriers for women seeking contraception, requiring them to get prescriptions for safe, widely taken medications.
Designer Art Donovan writes, “I’m always looking for new and unique inspiration for my lighting commissions and the latest, cutting edge scientific devices offer a boatload of great design inspiration. From the cool, new ‘James Webb Space Telescope’ to the myriad of complex details in the L.H.P.C. at Cern- it’s a cornucopia of rich imagery.”
If you want a quality vaping experience, it’s usually going to cost you. Vaporizers that deliver a fast, controlled burn will set you back up to $300, which is why the FEZ Vaporizer (now just $99) is an absolute steal.The FEZ dry herb pen does everything that more expensive models handle at a reduced price. It heats up […]
Taking pictures can be challenging. There are a million factors that can influence each shot you take – and unless you’re a trained photographer, you often just focus, click…and cross your fingers.Of course, you can take some of the ambiguity out of your picture-taking with this Hollywood Art Institute Photography Course & Certification package, now […]
Experienced shutterbugs with DSLR cameras have boatloads of lens options for capturing the moment. Unfortunately, smartphone photographers often get stuck with their one crummy lens, which means limited zoom and focus for their final image.Step up your smartphone’s photographic power with the Acesori 5-Piece Smartphone Camera Lens Kit, now just $9.99 in the Boing Boing Store.Magnetic rings easily […]