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Ancient Maps of the "Sea Kings"
In his book Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings, Charles H. Hapgood tells of the Piri Re'is map of 1513 A.D. Studies of this map show that it correctly gives latitudes and longitudes along the coasts of Africa and Europe, indicating that the original mapmaker must have found the correct relative longitude across Africa and across the Atlantic to Brazil. This amazing map gives an accurate profile of the coast of South America to the Amazon, provides an amazing outline of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico (supposedly not yet discovered!), and -- incredibly enough -- shows a part of the coast of the Antarctic Continent which was not discovered, in modern times, until 1818!
This map does not stand alone. A world map drawn by Oronteus Finaeus in 1531 gives a truly authentic map of Antarctica, indicating the coasts were probably ice-free when the original map was drawn (of which Oronteus Finaeus' map was a later copy). The Oronteus Finaeus map was strikingly similar to modern maps of the Antarctic. How could this be?
Another fascinating map is the map of Hadji Ahmed of 1559. It is evident that the cartographer had some extraordinary source maps at his disposal. Says Hapgood: "The shapes of North and South America have a surprisingly modern look, the western coasts are especially interesting. They seem to be about two centuries ahead of the cartography of the time. . . . The shape of what is now the United States is about Perfect" (p. 99).
Another map of the Middle Ages, the Reinel Chart of 1510 -- a Portuguese map of the Indian Ocean -- provides a striking example of the knowledge of the ancients. Studying the identifiable geographical localities and working out from them, Hapgood was astounded to find that "this map apparently shows the coast of Australia . . . The map also appeared to show some of the Caroline Islands of the Pacific. Latitudes and longitudes on this map are remarkably good, although Australia is shown too far north" (ibid., p. 134).
How can such remarkable accuracy be explained on the basis of almost total ignorance of the earth during that time? Obviously, at an earlier period of earth's history, sea-faring nations must have travelled around the world and accurately mapped the major continents, and fragments and copies of their ancient maps survived into the Middle Ages and were copied again.
Concludes Hapgood: "The evidence presented by the ancient maps appears to suggest the existence in remote times . . . of a true civilization, of a comparatively advanced sort, which either was localized in one area but had worldwide commerce, or was, in a real sense, a worldwide culture" (p. 193).
How advanced was this ancient culture? Says Hapgood, "In astronomy, nautical science, mapmaking and possibly ship-building, it was perhaps more advanced than any state of culture before the 18th Century of the Christian Era." He continues: "It was in the 18th Century that we first developed a practical means of finding longitude. It was in the 18th Century that we first accurately measured the circumference of the earth. Not until the 19th Century did we begin to send out ships for purposes of whaling or exploration into the Arctic or Antarctic Seas. The maps indicate that some ancient people may have done all these things" (Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings, p. 193).
What ancient society could have been responsible? Is there really any doubt?
The evidence is overwhelming. The Semitic features discovered in Mexico and South America, the Hebrew and Phoenicians inscriptions, the Hebrew religious customs found in the Americas, and similar customs in far off New Zealand among the Maories of ancient times, all attest to the fact that worldwide oceanic travel, trade and commerce was occurring during the time of the Solomonic Empire!
Hapgood says such mapmaking would indicate economic motivations and vast economic resources. Further, organized government is indicated, since the mapping of a continent such as Antarctica implies much organization, many expeditions, and the compilation of many local observations and maps into a general map under central supervision. He adds that it is unlikely that navigation and mapmaking were the only sciences developed by this ancient people. Such a comprehensive enterprise could only have been achieved during a relative time of world peace, and by a very powerful and extremely wealthy kingdom! What ancient kingdom could have accomplished this?
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