Documentary Evidence: Mapping-consistency

Greenland Today
Greenland as mapped today (l.) and Greenland as it appears on the VM (r.)


New features appear on the VM - Iceland, Greenland, Vinland - features not found on earlier maps. Are these new features mapped as they would have been on a 1440 map? This controversy rages as fiercely today as it did 40 years ago, when the VM first appeared.

Greenland is the key issue. Greenland is mapped as an island on the VM and it bears an uncanny resemblance to the map of Greenland that we know today. Maps do not show Greenland as an island until 1900. (Northern Greenland is largely inaccessible.) Early maps show Greenland as part of Europe or as part of the Arctic ice cap. A very few early maps do show Greenland as an island. The shapes are similar but bear no resemblance to the true shape of Greenland. If the VM is authentic, it is the only old map that maps Greenland accurately.

Chinese circumnavigation of the globe in 1421 (according to Gavin Maxwell in 1421, the year China discovered America) 2004, p.346

Why is Greenland mapped so accurately on the VM? Many fantastic explanations have been given. Did the Inuit give the Vikings an accurate map of Greenland around AD 1000? (No trace of an Inuit map has ever been found.) Did the Chinese sail past the north of Greenland in their alleged circumnavigation of the World, in 1421?

The mapping of Greenland presents a challenge:

  • Is this an issue that requires the VM to be a fake?
  • Is this an issue that suggests that the VM could be a fake?

Greenland shown as an European promontory. Ptolemy’s Geography 1535
Greenland shown as part of the Arctic ice cap, in the frontispiece to de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, published in 1835
Greenland shown as an island. Mercator’s Atlas of 1595. This is fictitious. Note the little islands surrounding the coast, like beading.