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Drawing the Lines

Is a pre-Columbus map of North America truly a hoax?
Vinland Map



BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY, YALE UNIVERSITY

In a Yale University library sits a map depicting the New World that predates the landing of Columbus by 60 years--if it isn't a fake. Although the lines on the so-called Vinland map are faded, those between scientists on the controversy are sharp. New salvos regarding its authenticity now come from both sides.

The parchment map, about 11 by 16 inches large, was uncovered in a Geneva bookshop in 1957 with no records of prior ownership. To the west of the inscriptions of Europe, Africa and the Far East are the words "a new land, extremely fertile and even having vines." The writing also says the crew of Leif Eriksson named the land "Vinland."

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