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14 January, 2006

America was discovered by Chinese

chinese_world_map.jpg
America was discovered by Chinese!? According to this BBC News report. It was discovered by Chinese mariner and explorer Zheng He Much sometime before 1418, much earlier than Columbus (1492).

The evidence? The map is said to be a 1763 copy of another map made in 1418. The map is now being tested to check the age of its paper and ink, the results should be available in February.

Related link:
China map lays claim to Americas. (BBC News)

Posted by Antony on 14 January 2006 8:56 PM | newstalk

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comments
About a dozen people discovered the Americas before Columbus, including the Vikings. Columbus is just the best recorded incident, and makes a good story. Plus that was around the time when people were looking for new land. Since he was the last person to "discover" it, he got credit.
Posted by Robert Accettura on 16 January 2006 9:02 AM.
Not surprising. I remember back earlier this year in my Modern World History course learning about Zheng He's voyages. Zheng He is credited with the expansion of Chinese economy to other parts of the world in imperial opposition to Confucian scholars. It's also fact that when Zheng He died, his records were destroyed, and China returned to its Confucian focus. It's always possible that if his records were burned, his map could have been burned too. I do remember that my history teacher divided the class in half and had both groups do some research as to whether Zheng He actually discovered the Americas or not, then had us debate on it. I honestly can't remember the result of that debate.
Posted by Don_HH2K on 18 January 2006 8:11 AM.
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