I discovered the following information, excerpted from Fingerprints of the Gods, Graham Hancock, ©1995 CROWN TRADE Paperbacks. I hope you will thoughtfully consider the many implications resulting from a curious interest by one scholarly individual during a Christmas vacation back in 1960.
But know this, YOU will need to do a little investigating on your own... 'cause few people in public education will... well, how did one tired (but unfortunately, not RE-tired..) teacher recently put it? "Don't bother me with this sort of non-sense. Anyway, I've already graduated from College."
In Fingerprints of the Gods, Graham Hancock writes:
"In a letter to Professor Charles H. Hapgood, Keene College, Keene, New Hampshire dated: 6 July, 1960, Lt Colonel, USAF Commander Harold Z. Ohlmeyer wrote:
"Your request for evaluation of certain unusual features of the Piri Re'is World Map of 1513 by this organization has been reviewed…. This indicates that the coastline had been mapped before it was covered by the ice-cap. The ice-cap in this region is now about a mile thick. We have no idea how the data on this map can be reconciled with the supposed state of geographical knowledge in 1513."
"…Despite the deadpan language, Ohlmeyer's letter is a bombshell. If Queen Maud Land was mapped before it was covered by ice, the original cartography must have been done an extraordinarily long time ago.
"…On closer examination, this notion turns out to be seriously flawed - so seriously that we need not assume the map drawn by Admiral Piri Re'is depicts Queen Maud Land as it looked millions of years in the past. The best recent evidence suggests that Queen Maud Land, and the neighbouring regions shown on the map, passed through a long ice-free period which may not have come completely to an end until about six thousand years ago. This evidence, which we shall touch upon again in the next chapter, liberates us from the burdensome task of explaining who (or what) had the technology to undertake an accurate geographical survey of Antarctica in, say, two million BC, long before our own species came into existence. By the same token, since map-making is a complex and civilized activity, it compels us to explain how such a task could have been accomplished even six thousand years ago, well before the development of the first true civilizations recognized by historians.
"In attempting that explanation it is worth reminding ourselves of the basic historical and geological facts:
1. The Piri Re'is Map, which is a genuine document, not a hoax of any kind, was made at Constantinople in AD 1513. 2. It focuses on the western coast of Africa, the eastern coast of South America and the northern coast of Antarctica. 3. Piri Re'is could not have acquired his information on this latter region from contremporary explorers because Antarctica remained undiscovered until AD 1818, more than 300 years after he drew the map. 4. The ice-free coast of Queen Maud Land shown in the map is a colossal puzzle because the geological evidence confirms that the latest date it could have been surveyed and charted in an ice-free condition is 4000 BC. 5. It is not possible to pinpont the earliest date that such a task could have been accomplished, but it seems that the Queen Maud Land littoral may have remained in a stable, unglaciated condition for at least 9000 years before the spreading ice-cap swallowed it entirely. 6. There is no civilization known to history that had the capacity or need to survey that coastline iin the relevant period: between 13,000 BC and 4000 BC.
"In other words, the true enigma of this 1513 map is not so much its inclusion of a continent not discovered until 1818 but its portrayal of part of the coastline of that continent under ice-free conditions which came to an end 6000 years ago and have not since recurred.
"How can this be explained? Piri Re'is obligingly gives us the answer in a series of notes written in his own hand on the map itself. He tells us that he was not responsible for the original surveying and cartography. On the contrary, he admits that his role was merely that of compiler and copyist and that the map was derived from a large number of source maps. 'some of these had been drawn by contemporary or near-contemporary explorers (including Christopher Columbus), who had by then reached South America and the Caribbean, but others were documents dating back to the fourth century BC or earlier.
"Piri Re'is and his sources
"In his day, Piri Re'is was a well-known figure; his historical identity is firmly established. An admiral in the navy of the Ottoman Turks, he was involved, often on the winning side, in numerous sea battles around the mid-sixteenth century. He was, in addition, considered an expert on the lands of the Mediterranean, and was the author of a famous sailing book, the Kitabi Bahriye, which provided a comprehensive description of the coasts, harbours, currents, shallows, landing places, bays and straits of the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas. Despite this illustrious career he fell foul of his masters and was beheaded in AD 1554 or 1555.
"The source maps Piri Re'is used to draw up his 1513 map were in all probability lodged originally in the Imperial Library at Constantinople, to which the admiral is known to have enjoyed privileged access. These sources (which may have been transferred or copied from even more ancient centres of learning) no longer exist, or, at any rate, have not been found. It was, however , in the library of the old Imperial Palace at Constantinople that the Piri Re'is Map was rediscovered, painted on a gazelle skin and rolled up on a dusty shelf, as recently as 1929.
"In the Christmas recess of 1959-60, Charles Hapgood was looking for Antarctica in the Reference Room of the Library of Congress, Washington D.C. For several consecutive weeks he worked there, lost in the search, surrounded by literally hundreds of medieval maps and charts.
"…Close investigation of the Oronteus Finaeus Map by Hapgood, and by Dr. Richard Strachan of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, confirmed the following:
1. It had been copied and compiled from several earlier source maps drawn up according to a number of different projections. 2. It did indeed show non-glacial conditions in coastal regions of Antarctica, notably Queen Maud Land, Enderby Land, Wilkes Land, Victoria Land (the east coast of the Ross Sea), and Marie Byrd Land. 3. As in the case of the Piri Re'is Map, the general profile of the terrain, and the visible physical features, matched closely seismic survey maps of the subglacial land surfaces of Antarctica.
"Further evidence in support of this view arises from the manner in which the Ross Sea was shown by Oronteus Finaeus. Where today great glaciers like the Beardmore and the Scott disgorge themselves into the sea, the 1531 map shows estuaries, broad inlets and indications of rivers. The unmistakable implication of these features is that there was no ice on the Ross Sea or its coasts when the source maps used by Oronteus Finaeus were made: 'There also had to be a considerable hinterland free of ice to feed the rivers. At the present time all these coasts and their hinterlands are deeply buried in the mile-thick ice-cap, while on the Ross Sea itself there is a floating ice-shelf hundreds of fee thick.
"The Ross Sea evidence provides strong corroboration for the notion that Antarctica must have been mapped by some unknown civilization during the extensively ice-free period which ended around 4000 BC. This is emphasized by the coring tubes used, in 1949, by one of the Byrd Antarctic Expeditions to take samples of sediment from the bottom of the Ross Sea. The sediments showed numerous clearly demarcated layers of stratification reflecting different environmental conditions in different epochs:….
"Mercator and Buache
"The Piri Re'is and Oronteus Finaeus Maps therefore provide us with a glimpse of Antarctica as no cartographer in historical times could possibly have seen it. On their own, of course, these two pieces of evidence should not be sufficient to persuade us that we might be gazing at the fingerprints of a lost civilization.
[I am not sure why these two ancient maps should not meet the most basic, accepted criteria for evidence - in which the witness of two is adequate. Nonetheless, and for argument sake… I will buy his reasoning. Please continue.]
"Can three, or four, or six such maps, however, be dismissed with equal justification?
"As we have seen many orthodox geologists believe that the last time any waterway existed in these ice-filled basins was millions of years ago. From the scholarly point of view, however, it is equally orthodox to affirm tat no human beings had evolved in those remote times, le alone human beings capable of accurately mapping the landmasses of the Antarctic. The big problem raised by the Buache/ IGY evidence is that those landmasses do seem to have been mapped when they were free of ice. This confronts scholars with two mutually contradictory propositions.
"Which one is correct?
"If we are to go along with orthodox geologists and accept that millions of years have indeed elapsed since Antarctica was last completely free of ice, then all the evidence of human evolution, painstakingly accumulated by distinguished scientists from Darwin on, must be wrong….
"…Is it possible that a human civilization, sufficiently advance to have mapped Antarctica, could have developed by 13,000 BC and later disappeared? And, if so, how much later?
"Were other parts of the world surveyed and accurately charted at widely separated intervals during this same epoch, roughly from 13,000 BC to 4000BC? The answer may lie once again in the Piri Re'is Map, which contains more mysteries that just Antarctica:
· Drawn in 1513, the map demonstrates an uncanny knowledge of South America - and not only of its eastern coast but of the Andes mountains on the western side of the continent, which were of course unknown at that time. The map correctly shows the Amazon River rising in these unexplored mountains and thence flowing eastwards.
· Itself compiled from more than twenty different source documents of varying antiquity, the Piri Re'is Map depicts the Amazon not once but twice (most probably as a result of the unintentional overlapping of two of the source documents used by the Turkish admiral). In the first of these the Amazon's course is shown down to its Para River mouth, but the important island of Marajo does not appear. According to Hapgood, this suggests that the relevant source map must have dated from a time, perhaps as much as 15,000 years ago, when the Para River was the main or only mouth of the Amazon and when Marajo island was part of the mainland on the northern side of the river. The second depiction of the Amazon, on the other hand, does show Marajo (and in fantastically accurate detail) despite the fact that this island was not discovered until 1543. Again, the possibility is raised of an unknown civilization which undertook continuous surveying and mapping operations of the changing face of the earth over a period of many thousands of years, with Piri Re'is making use of earlier and later source maps left behind by this civilization.
· Although they remained undiscovered until 1592, the Falkland Islands appear on the 1513 map at their correct latitude. · The library of ancient sources incorporated in the Piri Re'is Map may also account for the fact that it convincingly portrays a large island in the Atlantic Ocean to the east of the South American coast where no such island now exists. Its it pure coincidence that this 'imaginary' island turns out to be located right over the sub-oceanic Mid-Atlantic Ridge just north of the equator and 700 miles east of the coast of Brazil, where the tiny Rocks of Sts Peter and Paul now just above the waves?
[I checked it out on my atlas... last night!]
Or was the relevant source map drawn deep in the last Ice Age, when sea levels were far lower than they are today ad a large island could indeed have been exposed at this spot?
"The strangest and most immediately striking feature of Hadji Ahmed's compilation is that it shows quite plainly a strip of territory, almost 1000 miles wide, connecting Alaska and Siberia. Such a 'land-bridge', as geologists refer to it, did once exist (where the Bering Strait is now) but was submerged beneath the waves by rising sea levels at the end of the last Ice Age.
"The rising sea levels were caused by the tumultuous melting of the ice-cap which was rapidly retreating everywhere in the northern hemisphere by around 10,000 BC. It is therefore interesting that at least one ancient map appears to show southern Sweden covered with remnant glaciers of the kind that must indeed have been prevalent than in these latitudes. The remnant glaciers are on Claudius Ptolemy's famous map of the North. Originally compiled in the second century AD, this remarkable work from the last great geographer of classical antiquity was lost for hundreds of years and rediscovered in the fifteenth century.
"Ptolemy was custodian of the library at Alexandria, which contained the greatest manuscript collection of ancient time, and it was there that he consulted the archaic source documents that enabled him to compile his own map….
"It is probably unnecessary to add that no one on earth in Roman times, when Ptolemy drew his map, had the slightest suspicion that ice ages could once have existed in northern Europe. Nor did anyone in the fifteenth century (when the map was rediscovered) possess such knowledge. Indeed, it is impossible to see how the remnant glaciers and other features shown on Ptolemy's map could have been surveyed, imagine or invented by any known civilization prior to our own.
"At first sight, discrepancies drawn into maps… can seem odd. However, if ten or twelve thousand years have indeed elapsed since the era when source maps were made, the discrepancy can be simply explained: the missing islands must have been submerged by rising sea levels at the end of the last Ice Age.
"Hapgood was to make one more important discovery: a Chinese map copied from an earlier original on to a stone pillar in AD 1137. This map incorporates precisely the same kind of high quality information about longitudes as the others. IT has a similar grid and was drawn up with the benefit of spherical trigonometry. Indeed, on close examination, it shares so many featrues with the European and Middle Easterna maps that only one explanation seems adequate: it and they must have stemmed from a common source.
"We seem to be confronted once again by a surviving fragment of the scientific knowledge of a lost civilization. More that that, it appears that this civilization must have been at least in some respects as advanced as our own and that its cartographers had 'mapped virtually the entire globe with a uniform general level of technology, with similar methods, equal knowledge of mathematics, and probably the same sorts of instruments'.
"The Chinese map also indicates something else: a global legacy must have been handed down -- a legacy of inestimable value, in all probability incorporating much more than sophisticated geographical knowledge." Hancock (pg 3-32)
All excerpts from Fingerprints of the Gods, by Graham Hancock, ©1995 CROWN TRADE Paperbacks.
The subject of Ancient Cartography is more complicated than first glance. I hope you will continue researching it for yourself. And when you find some interesting info., please let me know!