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New Voynich manuscript clue surfaces


Posted on Tuesday, 4 February, 2014 | Comment icon 84 comments


A few sample pages from the manuscript. Image Credit: PD

An analysis of plant illustrations within the text has turned up links to an extinct Mexican language.

Discovered by book dealer Wilfrid Voynich in 1912 and carbon-dated to some time in the early 15th century, the nature of the enigmatic Voynich manuscript has proven elusive for years. Many people have tried to decipher the strange writing within its pages but to date none have succeeded.

Now botanist Arthur Tucker believes he may have discovered a connection between some of the plant illustrations in the manuscript and illustrations of plants found in 16th century records from Mexico. The similarities have brought up the possibility than the manuscript could in fact be written in Nahuatl, an extinct form of the Mexican language.

Gordon Rugg of Keele University however remains unconvinced. He, like many researchers, believes that the writing and illustrations in the manuscript are forgeries and that any correlation with real plants could be put down to simple coincidence.

"It's pretty good odds that you'll find plants in the world that happen to look like the Voynich manuscript just by chance," he said. "If I sat down with a random plant generator software and got it to generate 50 completely fictitious plants, I'm pretty sure I could find 20 real plants that happen to look like 20 of the made up plants."

   
Source: New Scientist | Comments (84)

Tags: Voynich Manuscript


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #75 Posted by regeneratia on 13 February, 2014, 2:10
I think dismissiveness is a serious psychological disease. It is as if being dismissive is some kind of strange fad. I accept the mystery of this manu, hope it continues forever. But I do not like dismissive analysis. It is so unappealing of Rugg.
Comment icon #76 Posted by jaylemurph on 13 February, 2014, 2:26
It's much more likely to be a type of late Medieval/early Renaissance... well, "joke" isn't the right word. Nor is "hoax". "Koan", maybe? In any case, it was probably devised to be completely inscrutable, so you don't approach it from a rational position, but to appreciate the time, skill and effort expended to create something beautiful with no immediate purpose. It was a way to think about how god created man, a way to get away from a style of thinking that was human-centric and so tainted by sin. --Jaylemurph
Comment icon #77 Posted by DieChecker on 13 February, 2014, 3:54
I've always thought it was a artwork to showcase someones talent. Perhaps someone who couldn't read, but wanted to show he could illuminate a text on plants or herbalism.
Comment icon #78 Posted by atomk12 on 18 February, 2014, 15:56
They will never figure this out. It is an underground language.
Comment icon #79 Posted by Windowpane on 18 February, 2014, 20:09
Comment icon #80 Posted by Gomar on 19 February, 2014, 3:08
If there are no other samples of this language, or writing, or plants, or writer, etc. then it's logical the thing is a hoax. Could've been made for some noble who paid the author for some fake botany study.
Comment icon #81 Posted by Xynoplas on 19 February, 2014, 20:03
Now, Bedfordshire University's Stephen Bax says he has deciphered 10 words, which could lead to more discoveries. The combination of apparent Mexican plants with astronomy may point to a connection with Aztec astrology.
Comment icon #82 Posted by Ninhursag on 19 February, 2014, 20:33
'It's a herbological tome' .. I wonder how he figured that one out .. Certainly not coz of all the pictures of plants .. -_-' And he needed God to tell him that ..
Comment icon #83 Posted by Jacques Terreur on 22 February, 2014, 9:10
i just found this article, dunno if it was posted before somewhere: http://www.medievalists.net/2014/02/20/voynich-manu-partially-decoded-text-hoax-scholar-finds/
Comment icon #84 Posted by DieChecker on 24 February, 2014, 5:57
That would be cool to finally have the mystery solved.


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