Historical Evidence

The truth is that a great many things are in great institutions today for which provenance is not known. This has nothing to do with their authenticity.
L. Witten (who sold the VM for $1M) Proceedings of the Vinland Map Conference 1971, p.11

Those who are convinced that the VM is genuine, would write a provenance as follows

  1. Who created the VM?
    A monk
  2. Where was the VM created?
    Basel, Switzerland — established by watermarks on the two accompanying volumes, TR and SP
  3. When was the VM created?
    Around 1440 — established by watermarks on the two accompanying volumes, TR and SP
  4. Why was the VM created?
    The VM was published as part of the TR, which is an account of a Papal Mission to Mongolia in 1245-7. The VM shows not only Vinland but the region of Mongolia covered. The TR first “appears” in 1957, bound to the VM in a modern binding.
  5. Has a source for the VM’s cartography been identified?
    The only source of the cartography could be the Vikings. The Vikings are cited as a possible source.
  6. What has been the whereabouts of the VM?
    Unknown from 1440 until 1957. No mention of it occurs in any literature. Other medieval maps which are judged to be authentic, have only surfaced in modern times.

Assess this provenance. Can answers to any of the questions be challenged and, if so, how? Do your answers invalidate the provenance?

Now write a provenance that assumes that the VM is not authentic.

Now compare the “authentic” provenance with the “inauthentic” provenance.

Does the consideration of provenance help us to determine if the VM is authentic or inauthentic?