Thursday, January 19, 2006

Map proves Chinese discovered America

Christopher Columbus
We know that Christopher Columbus was an explorer and trader who crossed the Atlantic Ocean and reached the Americas on October 12, 1492 under the flag of Castile. History places a great significance on his landing in America in 1492, with the entire period of the history of the Americas before this date usually known as Pre-Columbian, and the anniversary of this event, Columbus Day, celebrated in many countries in America. Although there is evidence of Pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact, and it is questionable whether one person can "discover" a place which is inhabited by other people, Columbus is often credited as having discovered the Americas. His voyage marked the beginning of the Spanish and European colonization of the Americas. He was most likely Genoese, although some historians claim he could have been born in other places, from the Crown of Aragón to the Kingdoms of Galicia or Portugal, or in the Greek island of Chios among others.

But now Recently a Chinese map collectore has found a copy of an ancient map he claims provers controversial theories that famed Chinese mariner Zheng He was the first to discover America and circumnavigate the world. The map supports the recent theories that Chinese discovered America before Christopher Columbus and charted parts of the world such as Antarctica and northern Canada long before Western explorers. The map shows us that Chinese discovered the world 70 years before Columbus. The map tells that Zheng He discovered the world.
Zheng He
The map is dated to 1763, but is also clearly marked that it is a copy of a map made in 1418. That date coincides with Zheng He's voyages, which spanned form 1405-1432. The map was bought for about $500 from a Shanghai dealer in 2001 by a Chinese lawyer and collector, Liu Gang. Liu Gang only realised its importance after he read Gavin Menzies best-selling book: 1421: The Year China Discovered The World. In this book Menzies theorises that previously undiscovered world maps drawn up by Zheng He's admirals were copied by European map-makers and were extensively used during the Vouages of great Western explorers, including Columbus, Ferdinand Magellan, Vasco Da Gama and James Cook. China's Ming dynasty banned ocean going exploration and trade on pain of death after Zheng He's final voyage, largely ddue to the death of Emperor Zhu Di, who sponsored the voyages.

Zheng He, is a Muslim mariner and explorer, is widely thought to have sailed around South East Asia and India, but the claim he visited America is hotly disputed. The map is now being tested to check the age of its paper and ink, with the results due to be known in February. Even if it does prove to have been drawn in 1763, sceptics will point out that we still only have the mapmaker's word that he copied if from a 1418 map, rather than from a more recent one.


Vanathi said...

Informative post :)

Ghost Particle said...

Very informative, i saw the documentaries, but this i think is a lost legacy. A past that DID NOT influence the future. Its more of a what if...

Jeevan said...

Vanathi - THanks.

Gp - Thanks friend.