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Media Science

Danish Expert Declares Vinland Map Genuine 210

Posted by kdawson
from the even-now-they-walk-among-us dept.
MBCook writes "A Danish conservation expert named Rene Larsen has finished a 5-year study of the infamous Vinland Map and declared it genuine. 'All the tests that we have done over the past five years — on the materials and other aspects — do not show any signs of forgery,' he said at the press conference. He and his team studied the ink, the paper, and even insect damage. They believe that the ink, which was discovered in 1972 to contain titanium dioxide and thus supposedly was too new for the map to be genuine, was contaminated when sand was used to dry the ink."
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Danish Expert Declares Vinland Map Genuine

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 19, 2009 @06:45AM (#28746731)

    Population of Denmark: 5.5 million
    Population of Sweden: 9 million

    Out of curiosity, without scurrying off to wikipedia, could you differentiate a Punjabi name (130 million) from a Bengali (230 million) name?

    Or, not even leaving Europe, how about the difference between Ukrainian (50 million) and Russian (100 million)?

  • Re:Fake. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) on Sunday July 19, 2009 @06:52AM (#28746755)

    Zoom in on the actual southern coast of England. It looks like a hastily drawn zigzag. England must be fake.

    In all seriousness, if authentic, the map predates the effective computation of longitude. You notice how the East/West elements of the map are stretched and skewed, far more than the North/South elements? You try accurately illustrating a fairly complex coastline when you can't say where you are on the East/West axis except by dead reckoning.

  • by Anders (395) on Sunday July 19, 2009 @07:37AM (#28746901)

    Population of Denmark: 5.5 million Population of Sweden: 9 million

    Out of curiosity, without scurrying off to wikipedia, could you differentiate a Punjabi name (130 million) from a Bengali (230 million) name?

    Or, not even leaving Europe, how about the difference between Ukrainian (50 million) and Russian (100 million)?

    You don't have to look anything up in Wikipedia, you just need to copy/paste correctly from the article that you are submitting.

    Maybe even submitters do not RTFA?

  • Re:Fake. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) on Sunday July 19, 2009 @07:53AM (#28746965)

    You're saying the Vikings managed to develop clocks that could work at sea, didn't tell anyone, and then forgot about it for 500 years? Because prior to GPS, that was *still* the only way to get an accurate reading on longitude. Yes, there are other methods, but they don't work at sea, they only work at the time of known planetary events, and they are crude even when used correctly (far too crude to provide the resolution needed for detailed coastlines).

    And yet somehow, the Vikings could "probably" do it. With no supporting evidence whatsoever, you leap to "probably." Wow... Just wow...

  • Re:Good Point... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Yvanhoe (564877) on Sunday July 19, 2009 @09:28AM (#28747315) Journal
    I think there would still be some clues... For instance, does a ink-covered spot of paper age the same way a non-inked spot does ?
  • Re:hm (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 19, 2009 @10:02AM (#28747467)
    Ahhh yes. Another example of someone taking the word of a Wikipedia article over that of an expert who has closely studied the artifact in question for over 5 years. And who says we're only getting dumber?
  • Re:Good Point... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TapeCutter (624760) * on Sunday July 19, 2009 @10:12AM (#28747513) Journal
    "It reminds me of a problem my mum told me about in the art world"

    Well you've convinced me, everyone knows a mum trumps an expert [www.kons.dk].
  • Re:Fake. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hibiki_r (649814) on Sunday July 19, 2009 @11:23AM (#28747885)

    While Genoa is Columbus' most likely birthplace, we are not certain of it. You are as wrong affirming that he came from Italy as the grandparent was by saying that he wasn't.

  • Re:Good Point... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MaskedSlacker (911878) on Sunday July 19, 2009 @02:43PM (#28749061)

    And you've ignored his point, which was that people can value the art for whatever reason they want. Just because YOU don't like that reason doesn't mean other people don't.

  • Re:Carbon dating (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mysidia (191772) on Sunday July 19, 2009 @03:11PM (#28749235)

    The word "discover" is relative. To discover means to find out the existence of a thing or fact you didn't know before.

    It's quite possible to discover things that everyone around you knows about (but you were ignorant of); however, that's fairly uninteresting, and doesn't get you any praises.

    People around you credit you with discovering something, if you were the first to see or describe something of interest that the people didn't know before.

    So the person discovered the Americas. And their discovery was notable, because people in the region they were from were unaware of its existence.

  • Re:Good Point... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Serious Callers Only (1022605) on Sunday July 19, 2009 @05:50PM (#28750501)

    If we can destroy the concept of "creator", that's "good" IMO.

    Except that knowing the creator, their milieu, culture, and intentions is often vital to a proper understanding and appreciation of the artwork in question, rather than some superficial and effectively meaningless reaction based on your cultural biases and limited experience.

  • Re:Good Point... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by GauteL (29207) on Monday July 20, 2009 @04:04AM (#28753783)

    So the history and intent are irrelevant for the appreciation of a piece of art? :-D

    So you've never heard song lyrics which sounded silly, but made perfect sense when you found out what the song writers intent was?

    Or have you never wondered why some art or music seems almost 'timeless' while some songs sound incredibly dated just three years after they were produced? Hint, these two phenomenon are strongly related.

    I agree with the other poster. You poor sod....

Nothing is more admirable than the fortitude with which millionaires tolerate the disadvantages of their wealth. -- Nero Wolfe

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