The Undecipherable Voynich Manuscript

The Voynich Manuscript has baffled and intrigued scholars since its rediscovery in 1912. The manuscript is a collection of writings and complex drawings in an unknown language by an unknown author. Its origins and meaning have been the source of much debate over the years and some have wondered if it is some kind of ‘alien language.’ Yet among the speculations, researchers at the University of Arizona have determined one concrete fact about the manuscript: its age.

Through radiocarbon dating, the researchers were able to confirm that the Voynich dates back to sometime between 1408 and 1438, making it older than the Gutenberg Bible. While it’s much more fun to believe that instead of landing on Earth and making us their human-slaves, aliens just wanted to write down their thoughts and draw some pictures before heading back into space, some think the secrecy of the language aligns with medieval practices of alchemy—that may be less far-fetched.

Folio from the Voynich Manuscript, Beinecke Library, Yale University

Folio from the Voynich Manuscript, Beinecke Library, Yale University

Allison Nonko

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2 thoughts on “The Undecipherable Voynich Manuscript

  1. Beautiful writing and graphics about a topic that is as fascinating for what it has inspired in the mind as it’s turning out to be relative to scientific verification of its age. Thanks, Meagan

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