In the romantic times of the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th centuries, there appeared at several places in Europe endeavours to move chronologically to remote history the testimony of erudition of different nations. The most requested arguments were discoveries of written documents proving the developed national language. Were such documents had been lacking, forgeries were often made. Let us mention the so called Ossian's Songs, that had apparently come from the 2nd century a.Ch., but were really written by the young Scottisch poet James Macpherson and were published in 1760... In Bohemia there started the movement for revival of the nation too, the identity of which had been dangerously threatened by oppression and germanization and the famous mediaeval history of which had been slowly forgotten.
A group of young patriots had discovered, in the process of time, several documents on parchment, with records applying their authenticity to the 10th til 14th centuries, the text of which had celebrated the Czech glory and heroism. The main importance had two relics called according to places of their discoveries: The Manuscript of Zelená Hora (according to the castle of this name near the town Nepomuk in Southwest Bohemia, that had applied its origin to the 10th century) and the Manuscript of Dvůr Králové (discovered in Dvůr Králové, a town in Northeast Bohemia), that had applied its origin to the 14th century. Later on, there appeared doubts about their authenticities especially from linguistic, literary-historical, historical, paleographical and objective points of view. In order to clear the matter, there were carried out exact technical examinations by means of chemical research in 1886 to 1887. Surprising results determined, in contrast to the above mentioned disciplines, that the manuscripts behaved like genuine mediaeval documents. This conclusion was later (1935) acknowledged by prominent chemists by means of a control of the used methods, however without new carried out examinations.
In order to elucidate this conflict, the writer and literary historian Miroslav Ivanov proposed a new examination; this was carried out by two members of the staff of the Criminalistic Institute D. Srnec and J. Sitta in 1967 to 1971. The team was enlarged by a specialist-restorer academician painter J. Josefík and a specialist of this problem J. Šonka, who had been an outstanding defender of the authenticity of the manuscript.
Even at the beginning of the research it was becoming clear that the conclusions of the previous chemical examinations, that had proved their authenticity, had been unjustified. It was ascertained what the mistake of the chemists in 1886 to 1887 had consisted of. It became clear that only chemical investigations alone were not able to render a doubtless argument about the origin of the examined manuscripts. Therefore the research was not carried out as a problem of one discipline, but as a summary of results more disciplines in reciprocal supplements. The basic method of investigation became detailed microscoping and photographing in different branches of the spectrum, beginning with infra-red one, over visible and ultraviolet one to X-ray one.
The examinations proved undoubtedly and irrevocably that all investigated manuscripts (the Manuscript of Zelená Hora, that of Dvůr Králové, The Song of Vyšehrad, Song of Love of King Wenceslas) had been palimpsest and first of all forgeries.
The Manuscript of Zelená Hora was written on erasured perchment that had previously contained a Psalster, probably of the 14th century (the text of the forger had applied its authenticity to the 10th century). The Manuscript of Dvůr Králové is on the parchment as well, what has not yet supposed in the last. The "author" of both most important manuscripts tried (somewhere with lack of logic) in order to feign antiquity to use the original initials and majuscules, some of them he changed to another ones. It was reliably found out even the technology of making this "documents", especially the manner of the erasures, changing initials and majuscules, soiling documentary places and covering fresh cuts. It was especially solved the problem of "rusting script", that had been one of the cited essential arguments of the alleged old age.
About all investigations and arguments, there has arised an extensive documentation containing several hundreds photos, diagrams and drawings. All the documentary material is part of the original of the Protocols that had been deposited at the National Museum. The numbers of the Protocols correspond with the numbering of the documentation.
Translated by Jaroslav Vrchotka