Multiple Microanalyses of a Sample from the Vinland Map

D. V.P. Sommer*, K. Mühlen Axelsson, M. J. Collins, S. Fiddyment, J. Bredal-Jørgensen, K. P. Simonsen, C. B. Lauridsen, E.R. Larsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A sample of the Vinland Map remaining from the radiocarbon dating was analysed with the purpose of identifying the post-1950 contaminant and establishing other evidence on the material composition, identity and condition. The analyses revealed that the parchment originates from a bovid and contains hair remnants. The fibre structure was in poor condition, with fragmented collagen fibres and a low hydrothermal stability. Greenish and reddish particles were observed on the parchment. The greenish particles were identified as basic copper(II) chloride, most probably atacamite, and the reddish particles as rust; that is, various iron(III) oxides. The extracted modern contaminant was identified as being naturally produced glycerol monostearate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-301
Number of pages15
Issue number2
Early online date15 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


  • atacamite
  • collagen
  • multiple microanalyses
  • organic contaminant
  • parchment
  • Vinland Map

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