Friday, November 26, 2004

Viking map may rewrite US history

From Agen├že France-Presse:

"Danish experts will travel to the U.S. to study evidence that the Vikings landed in the New World five centuries before Columbus.

A controversial parchment said to be the oldest map of America could, if authentic, support the theory that the Vikings arrived first.

The map is said to date from 1434 and was found in 1957. Some people believe it is evidence that Vikings, who departed from Greenland around the year 1000, were the first to land in the Americas.

The document is of Vinland, the part of North America believed to be what is today the Canadian province of Newfoundland, and was supposedly discovered by the Viking Leif Eriksen, the son of Erik the Red.

Three researchers from the Danish Royal Library and School of Conservation hope that modern techniques developed in Denmark will be able to "shed more light on this document whose authenticity is questioned worldwide", said Rene Larsen, head of the School of Conservation in Copenhagen and the leader of the project."