Material Evidence: Towe

5). REPORT 1990

Towe reviews McCrone's and Cahill's conflicting results, drawing conclusions consistent with both.
Towe, K. M. 1990 The Vinland Map: still a forgery. Acc. Chem. Res. 23, 84-87

Cahill’s “PIXE” data show 3 times more titanium in the ink than on the parchment.


Towe examines both studies, analyzing the data in greater detail. He focuses on the key issues, drawing conclusions consistent with both studies.


  • Towe analyzes Cahill's raw data to show that titanium content in the ink is three times greater than that on the parchment.
  • Towe demonstrates that the distinctive form of anatase, found unmistakably by McCrone in the ink, could only have been made in modern times.


  • Both studies identify titanium in the ink.
  • Cahill's study cannot identify the molecular form of the titanium.
  • McCrone's study identifies the titanium as anatase, in a form only available in modern times.
  • The conflict as to the amount of titanium in the ink does not bear on these conclusions.


  • What can be said about the status of the VM in the light of Towe's study?
  • What contribution can the PIXE study make to deciding the status of the Map?