The Vinland MapNews of the possible discovery of the ossuary of James, the brother of Jesus, and the controversy that is guaranteed to ensue, immediately brings to mind the on-going debate surrounding the so-called Vinland Map.
The map clearly shows a body of land labeled “Vinlandia Insula” or Island of Vinland. If its purported early-15th century date is correct, it would predate Columbus by over 50 years and be the earliest map showing the North American continent. The map was discovered bound in a medieval book called Historia Tartarorum in 1957. It was purchased by a Yale University benefactor and given to the university who then presented it to the world to great fanfare - which was followed immediately by doubt and controversy. Debate continues to this day.
The question of its authenticity will probably never be definitively answered. I have my doubts, but then I’m certainly no expert; still, while Greenland was known to Europeans (Greenland had its own bishopric as early as 1126) it was generally thought to be a penninsula connected to the rest of northern Europe (Jötunheim to the Norse.)
nb.: There is a huge, 2.5 meg, 3000 by 2100 pixel, image of the entire map maintained at the Brookhaven National Laboratory web site here.