24 January 2010

The Skálholt Map

The Skálholt Map... is less well known [than the controversial "Vinland" map], but has the advantage of being authentic. The first version was made in 1570 by Sigurd Stefánsson, a teacher in Skálholt, then an important religious and educational centre on Iceland. Stefánsson attempted to plot the American locations mentioned in the Vinland Saga on a map of the North Atlantic. Stefánsson’s original is lost; this copy dates from 1669, and was included in description of Iceland by Biørn Jonsen of Skarsaa...

Greenland is of course an island, but was considered by the Vikings to be a huge peninsula of a contiguous northern mainland, that continued to America, where are noted Helleland, Markland and Skraelingeland (after the Viking name for the natives). Marked vertically on the map’s southwestern edge is the name Promontorium Winlandiae (Promontory of Vinland)...

Text and image (click to enlarge) from the always-interesting Strange Maps.


  1. Your opinion that the Skalholt map " . . . has the advantage [over the Vinland map] of being authentic" is a little too final for me in light of the continuing parade of pronouncements by experts on both sides that it is, ten isn't, then is, etc.


  2. Not my opinion - that's a citation from the link. I would prefer to view the Vinland map as authentic; I thought that controversy re the ink had been resolved in favor of old rather than new ink.

  3. At least that was the latest salvo, that the ink, despite containing anatase, may have been genuine. I believe then that we share the same inclination that the map may be genuine. I recommend Charles Hapgood's _Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings_ for those who may be interested in exploring some of the fascinating intricacies of the map.


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