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Thread: Viking map may rewrite US history

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    Viking map may rewrite US history

    Scandinavia, Britain, and America go way back. :p

    Danish experts will travel to the U.S. to study evidence that the Vikings landed in the New World five centuries before Columbus.

    A controversial parchment said to be the oldest map of America could, if authentic, support the theory that the Vikings arrived first.

    The map is said to date from 1434 and was found in 1957. Some people believe it is evidence that Vikings, who departed from Greenland around the year 1000, were the first to land in the Americas.

    The document is of Vinland, the part of North America believed to be what is today the Canadian province of Newfoundland, and was supposedly discovered by the Viking Leif Eriksen, the son of Erik the Red.

    Three researchers from the Danish Royal Library and School of Conservation hope that modern techniques developed in Denmark will be able to "shed more light on this document whose authenticity is questioned worldwide", said Rene Larsen, head of the School of Conservation in Copenhagen and the leader of the project.

    The trio will on Monday begin their work on the map, which is kept at Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library in Connecticut.

    The three have been "authorised to, for two to three days, photograph, analyse with microscope and undertake various studies of the document and its ink, but not alter it", Larsen said.

    He said the results of the study would be presented early next year.

    "We hope that the new techniques that we have developed in Denmark ... will help to better [date] the document and ink with which the map was drawn in order to lift the veil on its authenticity or counterfeit," he said.

    The map was considered a sensation when it was found. Experts largely agree that the parchment dates from the 1400s, but by the 1970s some experts had begun arguing that the ink used contained materials that were only developed in the 20th century.

    U.K. chemist Professor Robin Clark, from University College London, has meanwhile said he believed the document was a fake.

    He based his conclusion on the work of another researcher, Dr Walter McCrone, who in the 1970s found that the ink contained a derivative of titanium dioxide, which did not exist until the 1920s, according to the journal Analytical Chemistry.
    The Phora

    "There are no principles; there are only events. There is no good and bad, there are only circumstances. The superior man espouses events and circumstances in order to guide them. If there were principles and fixed laws, nations would not change them as we change our shirts and a man can not be expected to be wiser than an entire nation."
    —Honoré de Balzac

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