Feb 152013
 

Daily Update 2.4

Week 3: Module 2: Date 2/15/13

One of the most recent theories of the exploration of the Americas involves the Chinese. The 1421 theory puts forth the ideas that the Chinese had not only discovered the Americas, but had traveled extensively within both continents. This theory is based largely on a map that, similarly to the Muslim map of 1513, depicts the New World with details that were unknown to the Europeans.

1421shanghai-map

This theory is also based on the travels of the Chinese Admiral Zheng He. Zheng He was a great explorer and led numerous voyages throughout the Indian and Pacific Ocean. His travels took him as far west as the east coast of Africa.

voyages-of-zheng-he-map-06-04

There is no question about the impressive nature of Zheng He’s exploits. His eastward journeys are somewhat well documented by the evidence left in the numerous countries and regions he visited throughout Asia and Africa. There is little evidence left in China due to the tumultuous nature of the dynasty changes throughout the years. The question lies more in whether or not Zheng He continued his exploration eastward from China. It should also be noted that most professional historians have discredited the 1421 theory as groundless and based on pure speculation.

It is not certain that we will ever truly know who the first person was to “discover” the Americas or even what nation they were from. Whom do you think was the first to “discover” the New World?

 

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  4 Responses to “Daily Education Update 2.4 The Chinese”

  1. I suppose the native people, the ones we call Indians, were here first.

  2. How do you communicate with every single person.

  3. The cartography skills of these explorers is really amazing. Obviously those would not be great maps by today’s standards but given the tools of the time, they’re quite remarkable – as well as the ones in the post about Muslims. This is really interesting, thanks!

  4. This also reminds me of a story I read in the Ocean Almanac years ago (just found it in wikipedia though). It is a theory that a slave to Magellan from Asia was the first to circumnavigate the globe. Because they dropped him off on the way back he finished before Magellan. Of course, the truth will never really be known. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enrique_of_Malacca

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