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

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

BACKGROUND:

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

FINDINGS:

  • 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.

COMMENTARY:

  • 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.

QUESTIONS:

  • 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?