Home Geospatial Applications Miscellaneous Old map in Shanghai may rewrite history

Old map in Shanghai may rewrite history

Fresh “evidence” to prove that Chinese navigators circumnavigated the world and discovered the Americas, Australia and Antarctica decades before Columbus, Magellan and others was unveiled in Beijing recently. The evidence is said to be an 18th century copy of a 1418 map that includes the Americas and Australia well before Europeans “discovered” the New World. If authentic, it means the Chinese beat Christopher Columbus by about 70 years, and 500 years of history would have to be rewritten. The map’s owner, Liu Gang, is a founding partner in one of Beijing’s big commercial law firms. He is also a map collector, and in 2001 he spotted a beautifully drawn map of ink on bamboo paper in a Shanghai dealer’s store. According to Chinese characters on the map, it was drawn by one Mo Yi Tong in 1763 and was a gift to the emperor. It was a copy of a 1418 original, and carefully differentiates between later information added by Mo Yi Tong and the 1418 original, which included the Americas and Australia.