CHARLOTTETOWN — The third in a series of public lectures sponsored by the Prince Edward Island Vinland Society will take place on Sunday, Feb. 16, with the topic being the Vinland Map.
The lecture goes at 7:30 p.m. and takes place at the Irish Cultural Centre (BIS Hall) on North River Road, Charlottetown.
Over the years, there have been a host of Vinland hoaxes. Ever since the Icelandic Sagas became known in North America, in the early part of the 19th century, individuals and communities have clamoured to be central to the great Vinland story. The distinction between fact and fiction sometimes became very fuzzy.
Perhaps the most famous and controversial of all the Vinland claims was that made by the so-called Vinland Map, acquired by Yale University in the early 1960s. It was purported to be a 15th century map — based on a much earlier lost original — that showed the fruits of the Viking voyages of discovery some 400 years before. Thus it claimed to depict North America for the first time in European cartography.
Since the ‘60s, a growing number of scholars have raised serious doubts about the authenticity of the map. Among them is Dr. Richard Raiswell, assistant professor of history at UPEI, where he specializes in medieval and early modern geography.
Raiswell was recently featured on the History Channel’s “Treasure Decoded” where he discussed the authenticity of the Vinland Map.
On Sunday, Raiswell will present his views at a public meeting sponsored by the Vinland Society of P.E.I.
In an illustrated talk entitled “The Case Against the Vinland Map,” he will provide an overview of the map and present evidence that it cannot be a genuine pre-Columbus map of the New World.
The Vinland Society is a non-profit NGO dedicated to exploring various aspects of the very distinct probability that Leif Eriksson and his men visited our Island shores more than a thousand years ago.