Wednesday, January 18, 2006

1418 - China Discovered the World.

The controversial yet tantalizing theory that Chinese explorers may have discovered America 70 years before Christopher Columbus gained credence yesterday with a new map unveiled in Beijing. The map is fairly small, only 60cm by 41cm, the oceans faded blue and the continents crammed full of inscriptions and descriptions. In the bottom corner is a couplet which says: "This chart is drawn by Mo Yi Tong, a subject of the Qing Dynasty, in the year of Qianlong (1763), by imitating a world chart of 1418 (Ming Dynasty)."

The map is owned by Chinese lawyer and collector Liu Gang. Liu purchased it in 2001, but only realized the potential importance when he read "1421: The Year China Discovered The World," a divisive work by Gavin Menzies, a retired British naval officer with a passion for maritime history, published in 2003. The book, ridiculed by many and enjoyed by others underestimated Chinese discovery by at least 3 years. Very impressive story, hope that the discovered map is not a forgery.

Read full article in: China Daily.