Material Evidence: Review

REVIEW MATERIAL EVIDENCE   

Tabulate the experimental evidence. Draw the conclusions that it will support.

The evidence comes from the 5 techniques, listed as column headings in the Table.

(V) Visual; (M) Microscope; (P) PIXE; (R) Raman; (D) Dating.

The evidence is listed in the rows.

Is the evidence supported by more than one techniques? The Table gives the answer.

TABLE

EVIDENCE TECHNIQUE
(V) (M) (P) (R) (D) Correct?
1). The ink contains iron gall ink. *
2). The ink is carbon based. *
3). The ink has yellow coloration. *
4). The ink contains titanium. *
5). More titanium than in the parchment *
6). The ink contains anatase. *
7). The ink contains modern, synthetic anatase. *
8). Parchment dates to AD 1434. *
9). Parchment has been greatly modified. *

Complete the table using these symbols: Y = YES   X = NO    — = no data

When the entries made on a particular row are correct, a check will appear.

Are the data self consistent? Data from one technique should not contradict data from another.

How do the data compare with those expected for a genuine Vinland Map?

Examine this from three viewpoints:

  • I. The composition of the ink,
  • II. Impurities in the ink
  • III. The parchment

I. The Composition of the Ink (V) (M) (P) (R) HENCE THE INK IS (Y/X):
IRON GALL CARBON
1). The ink contains iron gall ink.
2). The ink is carbon based
3). The ink has yellow coloration.

If genuine, the ink will either be an iron gall ink or carbon-based ink, the only two inks identified in medieval manuscripts. Carbon-based ink is stable and can never decompose giving products of a yellow color. Iron gall inks break down causing yellow staining. No medieval manuscript shows the use of mixed iron gall/carbon-based inks nor would there be any rationale for it.

II. Impurities in the ink (M) (P) (R) IF THE VM IS GENUINE
4). Contains titanium.
5). More than in the parchment
6). Contains anatase.
7). Contains modern anatase.

There is no basis for titanium being an impurity in medieval inks. There is even less basis for anatase being an impurity in medieval inks. Even if it were, the anatase would have to be naturally-occurring, mineral anatase. But the anatase found in the ink is not mineral anatase but synthetic anatase, available only in modern times.

III. The Parchment (D) IF THE VM IS GENUINE
8). Parchment dates to AD 1434.

The dating of the parchment is a necessary condition for the Vinland Map to be genuine. It is not a sufficient condition. A modern forger could use old parchment. The parchment today does not resemble other parchments because it has been modified drastically. That could suggest a modern forgery but it provides no direct evidence for it.

Diffraction Small
Electron diffraction shows anatase in the ink.
Anatase1
The particle shape of the anatase is modern.