Skip to comments.Sailing Against Conventional Wisdom
Posted on 06/29/2010 9:28:32 PM PDT by Palter
Author Gavin Menzies Is Determined to Prove That Minoans Discovered the New World 4,000 Years Ago
It takes a brave soul to rewrite history by sailing against current thought. More than 500 years after Christopher Columbus "discovered" America, another seaman is doing just that, entering previously uncharted academic waters with claims that other "Europeans" -- the Minoans -- got there first, thousands of years earlier.
Gavin Menzies, 72 years old, is drawing on his experience as a former British Royal Navy submarine commander to prove in a book he is writing that the Minoans were such supreme seafarers that they crossed an ocean and discovered the New World 4,000 years ago.
Eight years after he made controversial headlines with his first American history book, "1421: The Year China Discovered America," which sold more than a million copies in 130 countries, he may spark debate anew by claiming that the Bronze Age civilization of Crete, which built magnificent palaces, devised systems of writing and developed a trading empire, got rich on vast quantities of copper mined in America.
Transworld Publishers undertook his first book, in which he claimed that a Chinese eunuch led a fleet of junks to America 71 years before Columbus. The book led to invitations to lecture at universities including Harvard, to an honorary professorship at Yunnan University in China, to the sale of film rights to Sky Motion Pictures and to HarperCollins snapping up the sequel in 2008, "1434: The Year a Magnificent Chinese Fleet Sailed to Italy and Ignited the Renaissance."
"Revisionist history tends to sell exceptionally well," says Luigi Bonomi, a leading literary agent who represents Mr. Menzies. "There is a huge audience eager to read new things about history."
Criticism ensued, with several academics dismissing Mr. Menzies' earlier books as fiction masquerading as history.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
Copper. Your earlier ping reminded me of this one.
Wow! Thanks Palter! Now I wish I didn't have to go to work today!
· Discover · Nat Geographic · Texas AM Anthro News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo · Google ·
· Archaeology · The Archaeology Channel · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·
his first book, in which he claimed that a Chinese eunuch led a fleet of junks to AmericaObviously the eunuch didn't have enough junk, and was looking for more. /rimshot!
And to this day, China still sends *junk* to this country. Amazing!
With all of this traffic from Europe and Asia that was supposed to come to this hemisphere, why didn’t at least one of them introduce those that were already here to the wheel?
Very interesting theory. I’ve never bought his idea the Chinese fleet visited America, so that makes me a bit skeptical about this. Wouldn’t Cyprus and Spain be easier sources of copper than the Upper Midwest?
This wasn’t too plausible decades ago, but the quite legitimate mystery on which it was based was, where did all the copper that was mined in precolumbian times wind up? The prehistoric works, tailings, etc are larger than had ever been accounted for.
At that time.
Turns out the copper went to undocumented trade routes; this has been fleshed out by more recent research, but if any records were kept (possible, but not likely; most or all of the North American tribes were preliterate) they don’t exist, so the way this has been figured out is by where the copper wound up.
UP copper (much of it worked into artifacts) wound up all over this continent, and I think it has even been found in Central America. IOW, if the Minoans (who in my view were the Carians, or at least closely related people, which is what Herodotus said, and he was able to understand the spoken languages of both groups) or Phoenicians managed to get North American, Northern Michigan copper during the Bronze Age (a good time to get copper, obviously), they would have gotten it in trade on the coasts of the Americas, not through colonization. AFAIK there’s not a shred of evidence for “Old World” cultures at the mining sites, other than modern, post-Columbian stuff.
There have been enigmatic carved/inscribed artifacts (many now lost, actually deliberately destroyed by “scholars” from various universities) found in situ in Michigan, Ohio, and all over the US and Canada. My personal favorite is Mystery Hill in NH, which was emphatically NOT built as a colonial root cellar (it was or may have been reused as a foundation for someone’s shack at one time); one of the Pennsylvania U’s did some work there in the 1990s, and *inside* the barrow part of the structure found a onetime hearth the ash from which RC-dated at 2000 BC. It’s too big a site to destroy without a LOT of effort, and is obviously related to European sites. Period.
Cyprus was *the* copper source for a long time. The oxhide ingots from Cyprus are seen in some Egyptian bas-reliefs and paintings, and the people carrying them are (by inference) referred to as the Keftiu — the people of Cyprus which in the Bible is known as Capthor. The name Caphtor is often applied to Crete, but that is erroneous; Crete was known in the Bible (and in transliterated form, in Assyrian records) as Tarshish, which we’ve all seen equated with Tartessos. If they were the same place (it’s not unlikely), there was no Tartessos in Spain. :’)
Copper was valuable during the Bronze Age but tin was the constraining material.
Hey, they figured out the perfect way to dispose of industrial wastes — include it right in the products!
And the Tin Islands of the Phoenicians, Greeks, and Romans was Britain.
What comes around.....
· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic · subscribe ·
Bronze Age Forum
Excerpt, or Link only?
· Science topic · science keyword · Books/Literature topic · pages keyword ·