Voynich Manuscript Carbon Dated to Early 1400s – About a Century Older Than Previously Though

voynich manuscript

The Voynich Manuscript has been carbon dated to somewhere between 1404 and 1438:

Using radiocarbon dating, a team led by Greg Hodgins in the UA’s department of physics has found the manuscript’s parchment pages date back to the early 15th century, making the book a century older than scholars had previously thought.

University of Arizona News: UA Experts Determine Age of Book ‘Nobody Can Read’

(Thanks Paul!)

This rules out Leonardo da Vinci as the author, which was my personal favorite theory. da Vinci was born in 1452. It also rules out John Dee and Edward Kelly, who lived in the 16th century. It also of course rules out the possibility that Voynich forged the manuscript.


  1. Which is nice, but carbon dating the manuscript parchment itself really only provides a terminus post quem, and doesn’t give any indication about when Voynich might have been written. As anyone who regularly works with manuscripts in this period would recognise — and as the linked article vaguely alludes to — parchment would quite regularly end up only being used years after it was actually made. Obviously, many of the methods that we might use to date a manuscript aren’t available to us here, though a painstaking palaeographic approach might narrow things down a little.

  2. Has the ink also been tested?

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