Scandinavia Iceland Greenland Vinland <br /> <em>What is this?</em>

Viewer\'s Guide

Welcome to the exciting world of the Vinland Map. It is linked to the very earliest days of the history of this country. If genuine, it is likely the oldest historical document relating to this country... and the most valuable. As we investigate this Map, the stakes are high. As it deals with the history of our country, we do become emotionally involved.

Reputable scholars - map historians, Norse historians, Latin specialists, conservation scientists, physicists, chemists, and so on - have been engaged in and enraged by the Vinland Map for over 40 years. (Only this morning (1/19/07) did I learn that yet another worthless paper will be published on the Vinland Map and that this will dirty the waters needlessly for another 5 years!) Why cannot the best talent and the best equipment not solve this problem for once and for all?

That is where you step in. You can succeed where the experts have so miserably failed. This web site gives you all the evidence. It is up to you to use that evidence to construct an argument that will specify unequivocally the Map's status. The pedagogical purpose of this web site is to help you reason. It just happens that the Vinland Map is a convenient vehicle to help you achieve this. That said, we are also interested in finding out if the Map is genuine or fake.

The best possible introduction to the world of the Vinland Map is the NOVA program The Viking Deception, see http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/vinland/. This routes you to buying the VHS or DVD at~$20 but it contains much additional material of great interest. The NOVA site does not set out to achieve what we achieve here. It does not point you on the way to review methodically all the relevant evidence. The NOVA site sets out to engage your interest. It is difficult to imagine it being done better.

If you are viewing this as a class assignment, your teacher will have access to the material in the Teacher's Guide. Your teacher is free to use that material as your teacher thinks fit. If you are viewing this not as a student but out of your interest and you wish to access the Teacher's Guide, please e-mail me and I will send it to you. I especially welcome any comments you may have about the web site. We want to make it better. You can tell us how.

Michael Henchman
henchman@brandeis.edu
(781) 736-2558