A collector claims to have a copy of a map from the year 1418 with which he claims to have preceded Christopher Columbus by a difference of 74 years. doHe will truly be the “discoverer of America” this Chinese sailor, or are these just nonsense stories?
Evidence has recently been found suggesting that explorer VikingLeif Eriksson, touched the American ground 500 years before Christopher Columbus. But, more controversially, a British historian has argued that Chinese Admiral Zheng He came to America in 1421.
card details by Zheng He
The piece exhibited in Beijing is a faithful copy made in 1763. It was acquired later, by coincidence for a cost of 500 dollars in 2001 by the lawyer Liu Gang.
The fact that the card is a piece that exudes beauty in every one of its strokes is undeniable. However, it has many details, mainly in the profiles of the American continent which make you doubt His age.
Make a little more reference to the map, like any other traditional Chinese artwork that has side texts. Indicative of how many inhabitants of the west coast of America are found, it should be noted that this part may have been crossed by Chinese sailors, crossing the Pacific Ocean.
It would be the map that shows the coasts of half the world, and that the Chinese navigator Zheng He would have reached in the 15th century. Among them, that of America, which would have arrived seven decades before Christopher Columbus.
It can be seen that Australian Aborigines are also described. Mentioning that they have black skin and have hip bones. However, to these small details clear and plausible judgments are opposed, for example:
- The British Isles are not represented.
- California is drawn as an island.
- What is now Canada to Patagonia (the eastern coast of the Americas) offers a clear look that other maps didn’t appear until many years later, so how long ago did they really make this copy?
A bit about Zheng He
Credit: National Geographic.
Zheng He was a powerful Chinese military officer, admiral, and explorer who led several expeditions around the Indian Ocean. He was born in the late 14th century, in a small town in the Yunnan region, to a Hui family, which was a Chinese Muslim ethnic group. His birth name was My he.
When he was 10 years old, he was made a eunuch and sent to Beiping (now Beijing) to serve in Zhu Di’s household. Although he came to this place due to terrible circumstances, Zheng He stood out in the royal court for his intelligence. Over time, he began to win influential friends, in addition to the esteem of the prince himself, who always had him among his closest advisers, and whom he accompanied in military campaigns against the Mongols.
After many years of an internal war for the occupation of the throne, the prince ZhuDiwho was not the immediate successor, became emperor in 1402.
After serving more than twenty years at court, Zheng He was able to receive additional military training and was later appointed treasure fleet admirala huge contingent of ships with which he planned to show the world the glory and power of the Chinese Empire.
From 1405 to 1433, Zheng He led 7 major maritime expeditions. It crossed the South China Sea to the east coast of Africa, passing through the Indian Ocean, the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea.
Years of successful missions around the world, managed to expand the territory of the ming dynasty across Asia. Achieve not only political and economic but also cultural exchanges, which represented a meeting of worlds long before the explorers Vasco da Gama and Christopher Columbus report their findings.
He is believed to have died in Calicut, now Kozhikode, India, in 1433. His body was taken to China for burial, although some historians believe his tomb is empty and the body of Zhen He was thrown overboard as part of a traditional maritime funeral.
Zhen He (1371-1433) made iconic expeditions on behalf of the Ming Dynasty to expand China’s territorial power. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Today, Zheng He is considered a folk hero, with temples honoring him throughout Southeast Asia.
The magazine The life In the year 2000, the United States compiled a detailed list of the most important people of the last millennium. Zheng He was neither more nor less than occupying the 14th place, standing above any other famous Chinese character.
Just two years earlier, in 1998, National Geographic had highlighted it to be the only Easterner worth mentioning for never having aspired to colonialism (at least not avowable).
There is a book called “The Eunuch Sambao in the Western Ocean” which describes in detail the 7 trips he made visiting more than 30 countries in total. What is surprising that it is never mentioned that he sighted AmericaSo is the story true? Or why didn’t this book report it?
This retired British army officer published a book in 2002 that titled “1421 the year China discovered the new world”. It is the result of 14 years of research in over 900 museums and archives in at least 120 countries.
Gavin Menzies’ thesis is the same as Zheng He’s map, on the discovery of America. It all seems like a curious coincidence, the fact that it is precisely now, after selling over a million copies worldwide and having it translated into Chinese, the biggest market on the planet, that Liu Gang appears with his card. ?
China in the 15th century
Leaving guesswork aside, there is the irrefutable fact that in the century XV China was a mighty empire that he had then made excellent discoveries. Gunpowder, printing, paper and the compass (what interests us now).
On more than one occasion he counted on his voyage with more than 70 ships, 30,000 men, ships, 9-masted junks and more. Zheng He, had at his command an imposing fleet which undoubtedly touched the coasts of the United States, Australia, Antarctica and many others.
You might also be interested in: Piri Reis: The map that appears to include Antarctica 300 years before its discovery.
Unlike many discoverers, the Chinese showed no eagerness to conquer such distant lands. What does it mean? It doesn’t matter if they hit the shores or got lost in America, or even found it, because maybe they never really knew.
And although many sinologists and historians criticize the authenticity of this theory, even if today we continue to find archaeological evidence of remains that indicate that at some point in history the Chinese arrived in America well before Christopher Columbus…
If Gavin Menzies’ hypothesis is considered true, Zheng He should be considered the discoverer of the American continent, decades before Christopher Columbus.
References: BBC / EFE
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