snopes.com Post new topic  Post a reply
search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hello snopes.com » Urban Legends » History » Did the Chinese discover America? (Page 2)

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!   This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   
Author Topic: Did the Chinese discover America?
NobbyNobbs
Deck the Malls


Icon 1 posted      Profile for NobbyNobbs   E-mail NobbyNobbs   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Actually, it does appear to show Australia, just further east than it should be.

--------------------
Back in the days before electricity, we were forced to watch TV by candlelight.

Posts: 229 | From: Paoli, PA | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Giant Communist Robot
I Saw Three Shipments


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Giant Communist Robot   Author's Homepage     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
John Daehnke asked:

quote:
I just want to know if any Africans made it pre-Columbus. I was really interested in the evidence presented in "Lies My Teacher Told Me".
Lies has a table with some possible pre-Columbian explorers; for the period 1000 BC to 300 AD it gives a description of moderate evidence for Afro-Phoenician contact in Central America, for 1311? to 1460? gives moderate evidence for contact with Haiti, Panama, and possibly Brazil and West Africa. Not enough to be convincing, but not so easily dismissed.

Also included is the evidence for contact between Japan and So. America, based on stylistic similarities between Jomon pottery and some So. American artifacts. This one is a really big stretch!


...

Posts: 63 | From: Aiea, Hawaii | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Linden
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Linden   Author's Homepage   E-mail Linden   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Here's a link to an excellent collection of world maps, which the team supporting Menzies' view have put on line. I don't agree with their theory, but they've done a great job of making these hard-to-find maps available:
http://www.1421.tv/maps.asp

--------------------
Yours, &c

Linden

Posts: 190 | From: Australia | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
prof. yanaibara
The First USA Noel


Icon 1 posted      Profile for prof. yanaibara     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
GCR - I phrased that in an uncertain way. I've read the book and since lost it (all my best reference books get loaned out and lost), so I'd seen the info. But I want to know more about it from other sources - what have people followed up with in that direction? Is there a deeper legitimate assessment of the data?

--------------------
away...

Posts: 640 | From: elsewhere | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Linden
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Linden   Author's Homepage   E-mail Linden   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
A Wikipedia article on pre-Columbian transoceanic contact seems like a good place to start a quest to find out more (and it has a link to a specialist site on possible African pre-Columbian contact):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-columbian_transatlantic_contacts

Since it's a disputed article, the discussion linked to it is illuminating too.

--------------------
Yours, &c

Linden

Posts: 190 | From: Australia | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Jason Threadslayer
Let There Be PCs on Earth


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jason Threadslayer     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by John Daehnke:
I just want to know if any Africans made it pre-Columbus. I was really interested in the evidence presented in "Lies My Teacher Told Me".

There is some evidence for Mali traders reaching the Caribbean. The Caribes used the same alloy as the Mali with the same name and had a tradition that they got the alloy from "blacks".

quote:
Originally posted by Giant Communist Robot:
Lies has a table with some possible pre-Columbian explorers; for the period 1000 BC to 300 AD it gives a description of moderate evidence for Afro-Phoenician contact in Central America, for 1311? to 1460?

By Afro-Phoenician, he means Carthagians.

--------------------
All posts foretold by Nostradamus.

Turing test failures: 6

Posts: 5481 | From: Decatur, GA | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
nobodytil2013
Ron Mexico


Icon 1 posted      Profile for nobodytil2013   Author's Homepage   E-mail nobodytil2013   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I wonder how annoyed indigenous "Americans" get when half the world claims they found their continent first?

Besides, didn't the vikings pre-date Columbus by about 500 years?

Posts: 27 | From: Fairview Heights, Illinois | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
El Camino
We Three Blings


Icon 1 posted      Profile for El Camino   E-mail El Camino   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Was Colombus the first man to see America? No. Was he the first European? No.

However, he was sent on a mission to find another passage to the Indies by the Queen in Spain. Instead he discovered America for Spain. It was not known to Spain before this. Nor was it known in the rest of Europe, at least not widely.

Here's an analogy. Suppose there is a lump of gold in a maze of tunnels under Splash Mountain in Disney world. Now, this gold was put there by an elite secret society founded by Walt himself. Members passed the secret on to their children, and so on, but no one outside this circle ever heard a whisper. This would be analagous in that the gold was known to some people, but most were unaware.
Then Dan Quayle stumbles upon it. Wouldn't you say that he discovered it, even though it was known to others before? I would. Just as I would say that Colombus discovered America.

Posts: 1048 | From: Brunswick, Maine | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Ganzfeld
Let There Be PCs on Earth


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Ganzfeld     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Okay, El Camino. That makes sense. I think at least my own reaction to the word "discovered" is at least partly due to the fact that some history books have exaggerated the sparse population of the Americas. There were people living practially everywhere they live now in the Americas. Then they use the word "discover" in a global sense, as if it were a discovery for all peoples. But it really is a silly nitpick when I think about it rationally.
Posts: 4922 | From: Kyoto, Japan | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Samantha Vimes
Jingle Bell Hock


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Samantha Vimes   E-mail Samantha Vimes   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
My local paper the Sacramento Bee, had an article a number of years back (sorry for the vagueness) on an archeological find of Chinese pottery from the 1400s up the Sacramento River, and talked about literature in China from the period talking about mountions of gold in the east. So this isn't the first I've heard of a possible encounter of California by the Chinese.

Also, if they weren't giving the natives smallpox-covered blankets, I don't see that sailing in their river is going to automatically inflict Eurasian diseases on the populace.

Posts: 457 | From: Sacramento, CA | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Linden
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Linden   Author's Homepage   E-mail Linden   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Here's the URL to what the Sacramento Bee says about Menzies' book:
http://www.sacbee.com/content/lifestyle/books/story/5821484p-6789220c.html

--------------------
Yours, &c

Linden

Posts: 190 | From: Australia | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Honey Bunching Oats
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Honey Bunching Oats   E-mail Honey Bunching Oats   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
"archeological find of Chinese pottery from the 1400s up the Sacramento River" - Samantha Vimes

Chinese immigrants couldn't have brought 400 year pottery with them to the gold fields. Or Spanish brought Chinese pottery from Manila ( Chinese had trade contacts with the Philippines 100s of years befoe Magellan) to California and traded with the Native Americans who traded with tribes further inland in the 1600s?

--------------------
"When we talk about democracy, if the people's stomach is empty, democracy is also empty. Democracy cannot be installed by fiat; it must be achieved by the people themselves." Y.C. James Yen (1893-1990)

Posts: 146 | From: San Jose, California | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Alkatr0z
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Alkatr0z   E-mail Alkatr0z   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
That's the main difficulty with this theory (the Chinese discovery of America): while it would theoretically have been possible for some (storm swept) Chinese ships to have (accidentally) landed on the American side of the ocean, currents being as they are, it would be very difficult to imagine how they could get back.
Why does this make it so unlikely? No matter how you look at it one way of the voyage is going to be into the prevailing winds / currents. So the Vikings had to deal with the same issues.
Posts: 116 | From: Australia | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
El Camino
We Three Blings


Icon 1 posted      Profile for El Camino   E-mail El Camino   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Except that it's a much shorter trip for the Vikings to America than for the Chinese. We know Vikings were in Greenland, and it's not that far from Greenland to North America. Look at a map, and keep and mind that scale is not constant with changing latitudes. That is, and inch at the equator is equal to several inches that far north on a map. It is much, much farther from China. Even if they island hop much of the way, there's some pretty empty sports of open ocean that would make it difficult. Not necessary impossible, but very difficult, and certainly far more difficult than a Viking journey to Newfoundland.
Posts: 1048 | From: Brunswick, Maine | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Franny
Jingle Bell Hock


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Franny     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I don't know why (must be my East-Coast centric view of life... the water's on the wrong side out here...) but whenever I see this thread I have a vision of a Chinese junk pulling up the James River and landing in Jamestown. Then I think to myself, its pretty impressive that the Chinese managed to sail all the way around South America. My DH had to remind me that the probably just went to the west coast.

Geographically Challenged Franny-

--------------------
I've been waiting here for like 20 minutes.

"It's you, but distilled into one place." - JK. http://www.theheldhand.blogspot.com/

Posts: 505 | From: Portland, Oregon | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Senior
Let There Be PCs on Earth


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Senior   E-mail Senior       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by El Camino:
...Look at a map, and keep and mind that scale is not constant with changing latitudes. That is, and inch at the equator is equal to several inches that far north on a map....

This is only true if you're looking at a Mercator projection map. Here's a discusion about various map projections.

--------------------
Ad astra per asparagus.

Posts: 4806 | From: Groton, CT | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Richard W   E-mail Richard W   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Franny:
whenever I see this thread I have a vision of a Chinese junk pulling up the James River and landing in Jamestown. Then I think to myself, its pretty impressive that the Chinese managed to sail all the way around South America. My DH had to remind me that the probably just went to the west coast.

Not that geographically-challenged - Menzies's claim is that they found the Caribbean and the East Coast of the continent first. Although, according to him they got there by sailing round Africa and across the Atlantic. Then the fleet split into two, and half sailed around South America into the Pacific, the other half sailed up the East coast.

I don't blame you for finding this rather dubious though.

Posts: 8725 | From: Ipswich - the UK's 9th Best Place to Sleep! | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
jimmy101
The First USA Noel


Icon 1 posted      Profile for jimmy101   E-mail jimmy101   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Senior:
quote:
Originally posted by El Camino:
...Look at a map, and keep and mind that scale is not constant with changing latitudes. That is, and inch at the equator is equal to several inches that far north on a map....

This is only true if you're looking at a Mercator projection map. Here's a discusion about various map projections.
Also keep in mind that many maps used in the US do not have the equator drawn through the middle of the map. The equator is drawn below the center so things (oceans, continents...) in the northern hemisphere look bigger than they should. S. America and Africa are much bigger than shown on many maps.

jimmy "when distance and/or size is important use a globe" 101

Posts: 629 | From: Greenwood, IN | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Alkatr0z
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Alkatr0z   E-mail Alkatr0z   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by jimmy101:
quote:
Originally posted by Senior:
quote:
Originally posted by El Camino:
...Look at a map, and keep and mind that scale is not constant with changing latitudes. That is, and inch at the equator is equal to several inches that far north on a map....

This is only true if you're looking at a Mercator projection map. Here's a discusion about various map projections.
Also keep in mind that many maps used in the US do not have the equator drawn through the middle of the map. The equator is drawn below the center so things (oceans, continents...) in the northern hemisphere look bigger than they should. S. America and Africa are much bigger than shown on many maps.

I don't know about all the different kinds of maps or about how american maps are drawn but it seems to me very difficult to know their exact route unless they kept a accurate journal and nothing would have prevented them from heading north then east. Which would also have made it a much shorter distance as well as having the advantages of fresh supplies of water if required.
Posts: 116 | From: Australia | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Pogue Ma-humbug
Happy Christmas (Malls are Open)


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Pogue Ma-humbug   E-mail Pogue Ma-humbug   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by nobodytil2013:
Besides, didn't the vikings pre-date Columbus by about 500 years?

And St. Brendan the Navigator predated the Vikings by another 500 years.

Pogue

--------------------
Let's drink to the causes in your life:
Your family, your friends, the union, your wife.

Posts: 11325 | From: Kentucky | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
shifty rob
Jingle Bell Hock


Icon 1 posted      Profile for shifty rob     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
A fascinating book on this subject is "1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus" by Charles C. Mann (2005). One basic premise is that, immediately prior to European contact, there were more people living in the Americas than in all of Europe, in comparably modern communities in many cases.

There is also some fascinating evidence discussed that there may have been as many as 3 seperate migrations over the Siberian land bridge and through the corridor between the ice sheets, as well as potentially a seaborne migration into Chile as far as 30,000 years ago. (Note- none of this is conclusive by any means, but the discussion of the evidence is fascinating). The idea that the Americas were empty of humanity prior to the time of the Clovis settlement (11,000 BP?) has been pretty well disproven.

Here is a pretty good site on this:
http://www.sfu.museum/journey/en/05p_secondary/preclovis.php

--------------------
"They got a name for the winners in the world; I want a name when I lose" -Steely Dan

Posts: 480 | From: Tampa Bay, FL | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
  This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.

Instant Graemlins
   


Post new topic  Post a reply Close topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Urban Legends Reference Pages

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2