Chinese explorer Zheng He may have discovered America before Columbus, according to new book
He also invented noodles and took them to italy, and space travel, his uncle invented the internet
Wasn't it the Natives who discovered America some 10,000 years ago? Besides, if history books were written from the Natives point of view, people wouldn't really use the word "discovery" to describe Columbus' and Zheng He's supposed trips. It has too much of a positive connotation.
I like how the article begins, "Does a 600-year-old Chinese map prove that Christopher Columbus was not the first explorer to navigate the New World?" then proceeds to state the map is actually from the 18th century. If you just look at the map it's somehow got all of North/Central America shaped relatively correct and South America's general shape as well. What's more likely, that Zheng He explored and mapped the entire North/South American continents or that this single map from the 18th century is misattributed to him?
"But the Daily Mail says he "can no longer be called an amateur" after his most recent efforts."
So the Daily Mail, basically the Fox News of UK, says he can "no longer be called an amateur." It must be true!
It was actually an intriguing book, if the facts could be independently verified - such as finding shipwrecked barges laden with porcelain goods on a (?) california river which empties into the Pacific Ocean, attributed to this alleged time period.
daily mail = daily wail. right wing low class paper.
Columbus can hardly be called the first to travel to the Americas. Aside from the native population, there is documented evidence of viking landings 500 years before Columbus.
Also this particular theory is definitely not new. The idea that Zheng He reached America was put forth awhile ago and in several different books. But honestly, what does it change? Even for historians, it is not a major revision—no one ever argued the Chinese were not capable of reaching anywhere on the globe by ship, but whether or not they thought the idea of random exploration looking for new lands was worth doing (many Chinese scholars would probably say no... but that aside).
It's not just one map and the chinese naval technology was quite ahead of the rest of the world in the fifteen and sixteen centuries.
Unfortunately their isolation policies and tight expense controls had most of their cartographical documents burned and the ships burned as well after a new isolationist dynasty came to power. The ships were considered a shameful sign of overspending and had to be sunk, burned or just disassembled.
I visited the Zheng He museum in Nanjing, where the star fleet was built. They have on display an ancient rudder, recently excavated, that had the size of an explorational caravel of the time.
The north american and south american coast were familiar to the chinese before Columbus got there.
I believe Zheng He sailed in the 14th century. European naval technology, led by the Spanish & Portuguese, was bypassing Chinese in the late 15th & 16th.