The First Map


The "Vinland map" is believed to be a fifteenth-century mappa mundi, redrawn from a thirteenth-century original. The map is drawn with black ink on animal skin. Much discussion has surrounded the authenticity of this map; however, as of summer 2009, it is now believed to be genuine.

It is the first known depiction of the North American coastline—including Greenland—created before Columbus's 1492 voyage.

The upper left caption reads: "By God's will, after a long voyage from the island of Greenland to the south toward the most distant remaining parts of the western ocean sea, sailing southward amidst the ice, the companions Bjarni and Leif Eriksson discovered a new land, extremely fertile and even having vines,...which island they named Vinland." 


Click on the map to download a larger (1400x969) version


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