Kissing on the first Date

According to Yale’s New Journal (scroll down to the article “Shelf life”), the long awaited radiocarbon dating and ink and vellum analysis on the VM are finally underway!

Let’s just hope that this will be one instance in the VM’s history where one answer doesn’t open a whole box of new questions… Unfortunately, the article doesn’t give a date when the results are due, but, considering that the publication is from February and seems to go back to December 2008,… it might be coming anytime.

Stay tuned!

(Thanks to Jeff Haley for bringing this to the VM’s mailing list’s attention.)


9 thoughts on “Kissing on the first Date

  1. Radiocarbon dating does not take that long. If this was tested back in December of 2008, the results probably exist somewhere, now. Perhaps they are being held for an upcoming article, or other specific unveiling.

    At any rate, I had written to the Beinecke, and was told by the person who responded, “It is my understanding that the “outside specialists” (as the New Journal article calls them) are the ones who are conducting the tests. The Library itself is facilitating their research, but is not involved in analyzing or publishing the results. I do not believe that the results have
    been published yet; at least, I was unable to find them.”

    So I have written to the staff of the New Journal, and the person quoted in the article as supervising the tests, to see if the results might be available. If I hear back, I will post them here… if that is O.K.

    As for the results opening a whole new set of questions, “no”, I doubt it. If the dating shows a date previous to the “accepted” earliest dates of the Voynich, it would change nothing. But if the dates show a date newer than the accepted early dates, then the tests and results will probably be called into question. Or the “copy of an older document” will be the new status quo. Jumping ahead there, but I somehow cannot imagine otherwise, based on several years of experience. Rich.

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  4. Hi,
    Just found your blog today: it’s great! I only have a casual interest in VMS stuff, but love reading the related blogs.
    I looked for more info about this topic but couldn’t find anything, so… any news on this radiocarbon analysis?

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  6. It seems that the official dating is out: XV Century.

    Can someone ask why it took so long to date the Voynich Manuscript?

    Radiocarbon dating is a rather old technique. Even AMS is not that new.

    It is strange that they did not deliver the data before if they started in 2008. But it is
    ALSO strange that they did not try before 2008.

    Maybe the AMS technique was not so developed, or it needed too much mass before 2008? Please shed some light.


  7. Hi John,

    To my knowledge (which is actually more second-hand hearsay), Yale was reluctant for the longest time to have the VMS carbon-dated, because

    * it costs money,

    * it will damage the MS,

    * Yale doesn’t have a special interest in the VMS.

    IIUC, to them it’s just another herbal, written in a funky shorthand, but nothing to which they attach a special scientific or historic importance. It took the ORF documentary to provide the money and the impetus to actually get the dating done.

    My two cents.

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