Pre-Columbian Discoveries of the New World by Asians, Africans and Europeans

Pre-Columbian Discoveries of the New World by Asians, Africans and Europeans : And Some Ancient Native American Voyages to Europe, Africa and Asia

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This book describes ocean travel from the earliest times and looks at the possibility of cultural transmission from Africa, Asia and Europe to the ancient New World. It draws on archaeology and looks at similarities in the design of ancient artifacts and tools. It examines early records from ancient civilizations in China, Japan and Korea as well as in Greece, Rome and the Middle East. The plausibility of voyages across the oceans in antiquity and the various theories proposed by scholars are examined too. There is definite evidence of the Viking discovery of America and a very strong case for cultural transmission from China to the New World. Many voyages of ocean exploration from China, Europe, the Mediterranean and Africa did not return and the possibility that they reached America is examined. Then there may have been unintentional voyages to the Americas on which ships disabled in storms drifted across the seas on ocean currents. Maritime technology and geographical knowledge may not have been advances enough for those reaching the New World to return. All these theories and possibilities are examined in some detail. Some attention is also paid to Native American voyages across the oceans. The apparent landing of indigenous Americans near the mouth of the Rhine is based on written evidence from ancient Rome and the plausibility of this is examined. Then the latter period just before the voyage of Columbus in 1492 saw fishing expeditions kept secret from rival fishermen and many of these must have reached the New World. Early maps are examined too for evidence of pre-Columbian ocean voyages. In this revised edition Chinese names have been changed to standard Hanyu Pinyin Romanization and characters inserted for better identification. For example "the Stag Gallery" mentioned in the translation of the Shu Jing by W.G. Old now has the clarification: [or Deer Terrace Lu Tai ], and the place name "Kiu Kiaou" has been changed to "Ju Qiao " in conformity with international standards. A total of 364 footnotes refer to the 70 books and journal articles consulted in the writing of this history and they are listed alphabetically.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 154 pages
  • 152.4 x 228.6 x 8.89mm | 290.3g
  • Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1514202190
  • 9781514202197

About John Oxenham Goodman

I was born in Australia and as a young man I studied Spanish and German and then travelled extensively in Western Europe. Travelling on a ship to Europe across the Indian Ocean and returning across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans made me wonder about how the ancients coped with sea travel. Back in Australia I found employment in the Advanced Studies Library of the Australian National University. My interest in this topic developed slowly after enrolling in the university's Asian Studies Faculty where I studied Asian languages and civilizations. While completing my Indonesian major, supplementary studies included one year courses in literary Arabic, Javanese and Dutch, the latter being the colonial language of Indonesia which I was required to be able to read. I also began the study of Japanese language and later majored in Japanese at the University of New South Wales. In 1973 I completed an intensive course in spoken Chinese at the University of Canberra and then enrolled in Classical Chinese at the Australian National University where beginners learnt to read the San Zi Jing or Three Character Classic which was intended to impart Confucian values as well as literacy. All these experiences made me wonder about the discovery of America as well as Australia. Was it possible that Asians had crossed the Pacific long before Columbus discovered America? Then there was the possibility that peoples from Europe, the Mediterranean and Africa had crossed the Atlantic before Columbus. It was while working in the University of Sydney Library in the 1980s that I started research into this topic. In what was then Australia's largest library there were ample resources for such a study. I borrowed books and read them on my long journey home from work each day. Finally I found credible evidence of possible ancient sea voyages to America but apart from the Viking settlement in Newfoundland there was very little that could be considered convincing beyond all doubt. After retiring and living in China in 2010 I decided to republish this book which I had originally produced in 1993 and given to a few friends.
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