Who Discovered America? Zheng Who?
The Chinese map, which was drawn in 1763 but has a note on it saying it is a reproduction of a map dated 1418, presents the world as a globe with all the major continents rendered with an exactitude that European maps did not have for at least another century, after Columbus, Da Gama, Magellan, Dias and others had completed their renowned explorations.
But the map got a cool reception from some Chinese scholars and seems unlikely to persuade skeptics that Chinese seamen were the first to round the world.
Gong Yingyan, a historian at Zhejiang University and a leading map expert, argues that the map is too full of anachronisms to date from the 15th century. He said, for example, that Chinese cartographers did not use the style of projection seen in Mr. Liu's map - the rendering of a three-dimensional globe on a flat sheet - until after Europeans introduced that technique to the Chinese much later.
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Lorraine Paul - 1/18/2006
I do know that the Chinese were trading with the peoples of Northern Australia long before European colonisation. Looking at the map (thank you for the link, Mr Dresner) I'm struck by the fact that the blob near the middle could be Australia. Further, like every map I've seen, the country of origin is placed right in the middle. I watched the TV programme regarding this hypothesis and felt it had a touch of the "Erik von Daniken's"!
Jonathan Dresner - 1/18/2006
For more doubts about the map, not to mention Menzies, here's a good place to start
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- Ronald Suny says historians have shied away from exploring the roots of the Armenian genocide for fear of taking attention away from the victims
- Columbia University professors Eric Foner, Alan Brinkley, and Alice Kessler-Harris to retire
- A powerhouse appropriations subcommittee is now headed by a historian: Republican Rep. Tom Cole (OK)
- Slavic scholars divided over a scholarship sponsored (and withdrawn) by Stephen F. Cohen
- Claire Strom to Step Down as Editor of Agricultural History