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Ancient Map Of Africa Poses Questions
cooltech.iafrica ^ | 11-12-2002

Posted on 11/12/2002 8:21:38 AM PST by blam

Ancient map of Africa poses questions

The unveiling in South Africa's parliament on Monday of a replica of an ancient Chinese map of the then known world which includes a recognisable outline of Africa is raising intriguing questions of which foreigners first explored the continent.

"The idea is to take us beyond what we have been ... brainwashed into believing" declared Speaker Frene Ginwala at the opening of the exhibition, which includes other maps and rock art.

The "Da Ming Hun Yi Tu", the Amalgamated Map of the Great Ming Empire, dates back to 1389, decades before the first European voyages to Africa.

Among recognisable features are the Nile River and South Africas Drakensberg mountain range.

The map also shows a great lake, covering almost half the continents land mass. Researchers suggest it may have been drawn on the basis of an Arab legend that stated "farther south from the Sahara Desert is a great lake, far greater than the Caspian Sea".

(The biggest lake in Africa, Lake Victoria, is in fact only a fifth of the size of the Caspian Sea.)

"We have the worlds best researchers working on it," said parliaments senior researcher Heindri Bailey, who was hesitant about drawing conclusions from it.

"Until we are able to gain the knowledge we wont speculate on it."

The original of the map is housed in Beijing where it has remained wrapped up, sealed and stowed behind a locked door since the fall of Chinas last emperor in 1924. Fewer than 20 people have had access to it since then.

The digitised reproduction of the map on silk is almost four metres (around 12 feet) high and more than four metres across.

Place names are written mostly in Manchu, a now virtually extinct language, and still in need to be translated.

Karen Harris of the historical and heritage studies department at the University of Pretoria said that as early as the 1st century AD records had been found in China mentioning places in Africa.

"They had the capability, definitely," she said. "Theres not so much evidence to prove it, but it isnt a closed book yet."

A picture dated 11 November 2002 shows a detail on the Da Ming Hun Yi Tu (the Amalgamated Map of the Great Ming Empire) dating back to 1389 which is arguably the oldest world map in existence that accurately reflects the African continent.

Harris said that at the time the Chinese were seeking tribute and not trade for the emperor and therefore would not have set up bases or left behind significant markings as was the case with Europeans.

This, she said, would make it difficult to uncover evidence in support of Chinese having been there, adding: "You wouldnt find human remains because the Chinese took their bodies back to their ancestral lands."

But Bailey said some circumstantial evidence existed in South Africa to suggest the Chinese had navigated around Africa long before Bartolomeu Dias rounded the Cape of Good Hope in 1488.

"Chinese pottery has been found in (South Africas northern) Limpopo Province dating back to around the 13th century and there's rock art in the Eastern Cape depicting Chinese-looking characters," Bailey said.

British amateur researcher Gavin Menzies, a submarine engineer, argues in "1421", a book which came out this month, that Chinese admiral Zheng He circumnavigated the globe between 1421 and 1423, 100 years before the crew of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, who was killed en route.

Zheng He, a eunuch who never travelled with fewer than 300 ships, the biggest carrying 1000 people, is long known to have visited Asia, India, Gulf countries, and Somalia, from where he took back giraffes and lions.

The official history also mentions "Franca" (France and Portugal) and Holland, with the Hollanders described as tall people with red hair and beards.

To meet them in their homeland, Zheng He would have had to sail round the southern tip of Africa.

This is the first time that a copy of the map has been shown outside China. The original is a derivative of an even earlier one dated 1320, which was believed to have been destroyed.

That was before Zheng He's birth (he lived from 1371 to 1435), which deepens the mystery.

Some of the later European maps on show in parliament illustrate dragons, snakes and one-eyed monsters in the inland regions.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 1421; africa; ancient; archaeology; carthage; china; gavinmenzies; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; gorilla; hanno; history; map; phoenicia; questions
I've read that there was an ancient large lake in Africa, don't remember any details though.
1 posted on 11/12/2002 8:21:38 AM PST by blam
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To: blam
Zheng He's journey is well-known, so that's no surprise. I guess what is shocking is the dating.

Madagascar is populated by a mix of black/Malay. The Malays got there before the Chinese, if I'm not mistaken.
2 posted on 11/12/2002 8:26:51 AM PST by Skywalk
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To: blam
OK, that is great and will work well within our plans.

Blacks in this country can have reparations, but ONLY after they get paid reprations by the Chinese. Heh heh heh...

3 posted on 11/12/2002 8:30:11 AM PST by ikka
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To: blam
I'm surprised anyone is surprised by this, honestly. It may not be common knowledge, I suppose, but the Chinese engaged in several great voyages of discovery in the 12'th and 13'th centuries, including to Africa, Australia, and the South Pacific.

Two good books on the Chinese travels to Africa, for people interested in learning more, are Philip Snow's "The Star Raft" and J.J.L. Duyvendak's "China's Discovery of Africa"...

4 posted on 11/12/2002 8:32:05 AM PST by general_re
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To: blam
I don't get it -- yes, this is an early map. And as such it shows that Chinese people were sailing around the continent.

But are we really to believe that all those seafaring Phoenecians, Egyptians, Carthaginians, Arabs, Greeks, Israelites, Indians, earlier Chinese, and no doubt a host of others, never rode a boat along the east or west coasts of Africa? Hell, it'd be coastal sailing the entire way. An adventure, no doubt, but well within the means of the ancient sailors.

This is interesting stuff, but it's a little too breathless for me.

5 posted on 11/12/2002 8:34:33 AM PST by r9etb
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To: blam
Zheng He, a eunuch who never travelled with fewer than 300 ships, the biggest carrying 1000 people, is long known to have visited Asia, India, Gulf countries, and Somalia, from where he took back giraffes and lions.

Looks like there is an advantage in having home base in a country with a very large population.

BTW, I've heard there aren't enough marriageable women in China. Are the Chinese young men sending for mail order brides now? Or are the Chinese leaders planning to launch some ships to travel the world and take home young females?

6 posted on 11/12/2002 8:36:58 AM PST by syriacus
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To: blam
If this is a map of Africa and Madagascar it is by far the worst ever created. Maybe the early Chinese were great explorers but they were terrible map makers.
7 posted on 11/12/2002 8:45:47 AM PST by Between the Lines
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To: general_re
I'm surprised anyone is surprised by this, honestly. It may not be common knowledge, I suppose, but the Chinese engaged in several great voyages of discovery in the 12'th and 13'th centuries, including to Africa, Australia, and the South Pacific.

Just another set of...

FINGERPRINTS OF THE GODS.

Look, there are maps, known to be genuine, which document not only Africa, but ANTARTICA, and the latter continent's surface now covered under a mile thick ice cap. (The Piri Reis Map of the World, made in 1513, 300 years before Antarctica was "discovered")

Even the US Air Force is baffled by it.

8 posted on 11/12/2002 8:51:42 AM PST by Lael
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To: r9etb

This is Luzia, the oldest dated human skeleton, 11,500 years old, ever found in the Americas, Brazil.

(I'll bet some of my retirement money that she didn't, walk over here.)

9 posted on 11/12/2002 8:54:06 AM PST by blam
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To: general_re

10 posted on 11/12/2002 9:03:34 AM PST by blam
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To: syriacus
Or are the Chinese leaders planning to launch some ships to travel the world and take home young females?

Invade Pakistan, kill all the Muslim men, take the women (who, I'm sure, would prefer to toss the burkhas in the trash)

11 posted on 11/12/2002 9:04:20 AM PST by SauronOfMordor
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To: Lael
I've said this many times before...

The Old Testament is a historical document. I believe that we are the descendants of the culture(s) that existed then, (No I'm not on the Zitchin alien bandwagon). There's a good deal of circumstantial evidence to support this. Only time, and the honesty of the scientific community will tell.

There have also been some interesting discoveries off the west coast of Cuba. Apparently there are what appear to be "obvious" ruins under 2000+ feet of water. 2000 feet of water cannot be accounted for by glacial melting. We're talking catastrophic change. I can't vouch for the validity of the story, but the company that made the discovery was - I believe - testing out new equipment when they made the discovery. They don't appear to have an agenda. Atlantis may have been real after all...

12 posted on 11/12/2002 9:19:47 AM PST by NEJake
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To: NEJake
The ancient Aztec ruins in Mexico's Yucatan have statuary with jade eyes... ostensibly as a result of very early trade with the Chinese. Deposits of jade are found in the Orient, not Mexico.
13 posted on 11/12/2002 9:35:27 AM PST by Gargantua
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To: Gargantua
Deposits of jade are found in the Orient, not Mexico.

Apparently you missed this...

14 posted on 11/12/2002 9:47:24 AM PST by Interesting Times
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To: blam
This is not news. The book, The Explorers by Neil (?) Boorstein discussed the Chinese explorers years ago. The problem with the Chinese, however, is that they gave expensive gifts to all peoples they met to show how beneficent their Emperor was.

As a result, they quickly ran out of money for more exploration. The Europeans were much more practical. They stole everything that wasn't tacked down wherever they went. Therefore, European exploration was a self-financing operation.

As Deep Throat said, "Follow the money." It explains a lot.

Congressman Billybob

"to Restore Trust in America"

15 posted on 11/12/2002 9:53:42 AM PST by Congressman Billybob
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To: NEJake
"Apparently there are what appear to be "obvious" ruins under 2000+ feet of water. 2000 feet of water cannot be accounted for by glacial melting. We're talking catastrophic change. I can't vouch for the validity of the story, but the company that made the discovery was - I believe - testing out new equipment when they made the discovery. They don't appear to have an agenda. "

They wre hired by the Cuban government to search for sunken Spanish treasure ships when they made this discovery.

2000 feet of water cannot be accounted for by glacial melting. "

I have an idea about the 2200 ft depth. I think that the Gulf Of Mexico was blocked off from the world's oceans during the Ice Age and dried out to a lower but stable level. The structures that are now 2200 ft below the surface were in fact built on dry land that was, at that time, the coast of the (reduced water level) Gulf.
Now, as the Ice Age ended, the melting water rose and breached the 'dam' that isolated the Gulf submerging the recently found structures. I think 2200 ft is to great to have subsided.

I also believe that what-ever happened to Atlantis is related to the end of the Ice Age. In my opinion, Atlantis is very old, maybe 15,000 years old or older.

The National Geographic Society had pledged $2 million to the exploration company to investigate these structures but were pressured by the US State department to withdraw because they were affiliated with the communist Cuban government. So... (don't know when we'll know something?)

16 posted on 11/12/2002 10:54:12 AM PST by blam
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To: Interesting Times
"Apparently you missed this..."

Thanks, I looked for that but couldn't find it.

17 posted on 11/12/2002 10:56:13 AM PST by blam
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To: blam
Big boat. Hard to really judge from that drawing, but I'm guessing the draft was at least twenty feet or so...
18 posted on 11/12/2002 11:13:12 AM PST by general_re
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To: blam
Thanks. It's been awhile since I looked for any news on this...

Too bad about the problem with Cuba. This has the look of being the "real deal". Whether or not it has anything to do with Atlantis is less important than the find itself. Imagine finding a city over 15,000 years old!

19 posted on 11/12/2002 11:42:02 AM PST by NEJake
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Comment #20 Removed by Moderator

To: Lael
Even the US Air Force is baffled by it.

How so?

21 posted on 11/12/2002 11:48:12 AM PST by RightWhale
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To: syriacus
Well, the Chinese keep murdering the girl babies to their own detrement. Don't they know that Chinese boys need Chinese girls for brides? Not very smart, are they?
22 posted on 11/12/2002 12:08:45 PM PST by Marysecretary
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To: blam
what-ever happened to Atlantis is related to the end of the Ice Age

According to Graham Hancock, there were 3 distinct massive floods during the end of the Ice Age. Any one of them destroyed coastal cities worldwide, so it might be that Atlantis was only one of the countless flood stories. These floods are pretty well dated, although I don't have his book handy to tell you the dates right now.

23 posted on 11/12/2002 12:14:04 PM PST by RightWhale
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To: RightWhale
The Phoenicians sailed around Africa more than 2000 years ago, and they did it clockwise, whereby the winds would have been in their favor. It took 4 years, with annual stops to grow a crop for the next year's provisions. Sounds very plausible to me. There was no economic justification for the voyage, so it was never done again.
24 posted on 11/12/2002 12:16:15 PM PST by Grand Old Partisan
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To: Gargantua
. Deposits of jade are found in the Orient, not Mexico.

Sorry, but deposits of jade in Mexico have been known for centuries.
25 posted on 11/12/2002 12:18:48 PM PST by MineralMan
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To: RightWhale; All
Even the US Air Force is baffled by it.

How so?

Graham Hancock's book, FINGERPRINTS OF THE GODS, opens Chapter One-"A Map Of Hidden Places"-with a letter from the 8th Reconnaissance Technical Squadron (Strategic Air Command), United States Airforce, Westover Airforce Base, Massachusetts, dated 6 July 1960 to one Professor Charles H. Hapgood at Keene College, New Hampshire, responding to a request from said professor to evaluate certain sections of the genuine 1513 [Turkish Admiral] Piri Reis World Map.

Quoting Harold Z. Olmeyer, Lt. Colonel, USAF Commander, in part..."The claim that the lower part of the Map portrays the Princess Martha Coast of Queen Maude Land Antartica, and the Palmer Penninsula, is reasonable. We find this is the most logical, and in all probability the correct interpretation of the map.

"The geographical detail...agrees very remarkably with the results of the seismic proflile made across the top of the ice-cap by the Swedish-British Antartic Expedition of 1949.

"This indicates the coastline had been mapped before it was covered by the ice-cap." [italics in the original]

After noting that the Ice-cap is now about one mile thick, the Commander concludes:

"We have no idea how the data on this map can be reconciled with the supposed state of geographical knowledge in 1513." [emphasis added]

26 posted on 11/12/2002 7:39:04 PM PST by Lael
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To: Gargantua
The ancient Aztec ruins in Mexico's Yucatan have statuary with jade eyes... ostensibly as a result of very early trade with the Chinese. Deposits of jade are found in the Orient, not Mexico.

There are massive deposits of high quality jade in the Americas. There are also huge quantities of jade in the American West.
27 posted on 11/12/2002 7:43:30 PM PST by aruanan
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To: Lael
"We have no idea how the data on this map can be reconciled with the supposed state of geographical knowledge in 1513." [emphasis added]

Heh heh heh. Ah...sweet mysteries of life.
28 posted on 11/12/2002 7:45:59 PM PST by aruanan
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To: blam
I can't remember the source (help here appreciated) but years back I read about Columbus having a lot of evidence and anecdotes from a wide variety of sources to guide him in his conclusions and hence quest. One thing I vaugely remember is an oriental body washing up in Ireland and hearing of this he figured the Orient could not be out of reach from the west. Perhaps this body was a Chinese sailor washed overboard.

Anybody remember the report of Columbus actually making his journey a few years earlier than his trip from Spain? A pope had sent him out and even had an inscription on his sarcophagus that he had sponcered the discovery. Also an Arab map c.1488 showed the western hemisphere and mentioned a new world discovered by the indfidel from Genoa, a reference to the earlier voyage. Apparently that Pope died and a Spaniard one took over and steered Columbus to his King and Queen who sent him out again this time in their name. This move wasn't a petty thing for personal glory rather it had to do with legal claim for the plunder which went to Spain and not the church or Italy. I'll try and find that article.

29 posted on 11/12/2002 8:22:57 PM PST by u-89
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To: u-89
Yup. I've heard of all these things. I even had an article that was titled something like, "Did Americans Discover Europe,"but I can't find it.

I also think there was a report of Inuits visiting Scotland before Columbus's trip.

30 posted on 11/12/2002 8:48:34 PM PST by blam
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To: SauronOfMordor; Marysecretary
Invade Pakistan, kill all the Muslim men, take the women

Not very smart, are they?

You've got me thinking....

The Chinese can look forward to a population "implosion." At a certain point they won't have enough fellow countrymen to sell their products to. Since they are the world's biggest market they can expect a stagnant economy.

I'll bet they encourage in vitro fertilization and artificial placentas when they figure out what they have done to themselves.

31 posted on 11/13/2002 5:32:21 AM PST by syriacus
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To: blam
Some of the later European maps on show in parliament illustrate dragons, snakes and one-eyed monsters in the inland regions.
One of the earliest known depictions of leftists.

-Eric

32 posted on 11/13/2002 5:37:24 AM PST by E Rocc
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To: Lael
Even the US Air Force is baffled by it.

The United States Chair Force is baffled by many simple things. They are hardly an indicator of intellectual controversy.

Graham Hancock's book, FINGERPRINTS OF THE GODS,

PAGING ART BELL

Your silly tin-foilish claims are debunked here.

33 posted on 11/13/2002 6:17:29 AM PST by andy_card
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To: syriacus
20/20 hindsight--won't work, I'm afraid. Nothing any cuter than a Chinese baby/toddler. We have one in our church who was adopted by members of our congregation and she is THE most delightful child. How can they kill these precious ones? Demonic!
34 posted on 11/13/2002 10:47:05 AM PST by Marysecretary
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To: Lael
8th Reconnaissance Technical Squadron

Military maps are the basis for the USGS quad maps. Piri Re'is, as Admiral, would have also had the best possible maps. Those maps would have been based on older maps; you realize that such a finished map as the Piri Re'is map would have been drawn and colored by hand at a drafting table by cartographic artists over an extended period of work, and most importantly, from source materials.

35 posted on 11/13/2002 12:19:46 PM PST by RightWhale
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To: All
"...dates back to 1389" -- which means it's not ancient. The "Periplus of Hanno" survived as a Greek translation of an account still visible in a Carthaginian temple inscription in ancient times. That expedition established various colonies (named in the account) and visited identifiable landmarks on the western coast of Africa as far south as Cameroon. Also still visible in the temple were gorilla skins, described in the text. And -- this one kinda blew my mind when I first read it -- the name "gorilla" is a modern transliteration of the Greek version of the Carthaginian word for that creature, which was not rediscovered by European civ until the 19th century.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list --
Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
The GGG Digest
-- Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

36 posted on 08/04/2004 11:13:11 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Unlike some people, I have a profile. Okay, maybe it's a little large...)
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To: blam
Lake Tritonis, perhaps? It's found in book IV of Herodotus:
"The sea-coast beyond the Lotophagi is occupied by the Machlyans, who use the lotus to some extent, though not so much as the people of whom we last spoke. The Machlyans reach as far as the great river called the Triton, which empties itself into the great lake Tritonis. Here, in this lake, is an island called Phla, which it is said the Lacedaemonians were to have colonised, according to an oracle."
Located in Libya, by Herodotus' time it had begun to dry out, having peaked (and perhaps formed) during the wetter period many thousands of years earlier. Needless to say, the lake has since vanished. It was in what is now the Sahara (not the entire desert, just part of it).

37 posted on 08/04/2004 11:18:55 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Unlike some people, I have a profile. Okay, maybe it's a little large...)
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To: SunkenCiv

Interesting, thanks.


38 posted on 08/05/2004 5:24:45 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
I've often wondered whether that refers to the Qattara Depression, but that may have been dry too long, and probably was known as Lake Typhon. None of these names refers to Fayyum. :')
39 posted on 08/05/2004 10:33:54 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Unlike some people, I have a profile. Okay, maybe it's a little large...)
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Just updating the GGG information, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the
"Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list or GGG weekly digest
-- Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

40 posted on 03/15/2006 9:52:30 AM PST by SunkenCiv (Yes indeed, Civ updated his profile and links pages again, on Monday, March 6, 2006.)
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To: andy_card
PAGING ART BELL


41 posted on 03/15/2006 10:02:43 AM PST by Doomonyou (FR doesn't suffer fools lightly.)
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To: blam
A picture dated 11 November 2002 shows a detail on the Da Ming Hun Yi Tu (the Amalgamated Map of the Great Ming Empire) dating back to 1389 which is arguably the oldest world map in existence that accurately reflects the African continent.

I'm not sure how accurate the map is, but the Chinese Navy had hundreds of ships in the 14th century. They must've been sailing somewhere.

42 posted on 03/15/2006 10:19:48 AM PST by <1/1,000,000th%
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"The idea is to take us beyond what we have been ... brainwashed into believing" declared Speaker Frene Ginwala at the opening of the exhibition...
..."and brainwash everyone into believing something else."
43 posted on 03/15/2006 10:09:12 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Yes indeed, Civ updated his profile and links pages again, on Monday, March 6, 2006.)
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update:



44 posted on 04/02/2006 1:03:07 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SauronOfMordor
kill all the Muslim men, take the women (who, I'm sure, would prefer to toss the burkhas in the trash)

It is hard to argue with a young man with a glint in his eye, more so if there are a few hundred million and no girls to be had. Your scenario is quite plausible and it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Funny, you don't read about how this is going to factor into global events in the near future.

45 posted on 04/02/2006 1:11:59 PM PDT by SandwicheGuy (*The butter acts as a lubricant and speeds up the CPU*)
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To: SandwicheGuy; SunkenCiv

We should ignore all interesting threads for a while because the cryptkeeper is updating his database.


46 posted on 04/02/2006 1:13:58 PM PDT by RightWhale (Nothing can evolve which has not been involved)
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To: r9etb; general_re
I don't get it either. The story clearly states:

"it may have been drawn on the basis of an Arab legend"

which suggests at least part of the map isn't even drawn from first hand knowledge, and we all know how useful 'Arab' knowledge is (let alone an 'Arab' legend), and to rely on that seems a bit foolhardy.

What Arab Civilization?

47 posted on 04/02/2006 1:16:30 PM PDT by the anti-liberal (Hey, Al Qaeda: Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent)
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To: Skywalk
Merina man:
48 posted on 04/02/2006 1:31:39 PM PDT by Torie
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To: RightWhale

Cryptkeeper? Sounds like a GGG topic in the making... ;')


49 posted on 04/02/2006 2:37:58 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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50 posted on 10/19/2010 1:50:07 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (The 2nd Amendment follows right behind the 1st because some people are hard of hearing.)
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