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(   Ancient map proves Chinese explorers reached the Americas first   ( divider line
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21203 clicks; posted to Main » on 16 Mar 2004 at 8:02 PM (13 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

140 Comments     (+0 »)
2004-03-16 01:10:23 PM  
You could tell by the little dots every half mile labelled "raundly", "lestalaunt", "raundly", "raundly", "lestalaunt."
2004-03-16 01:43:52 PM  
2004-03-16 01:44:52 PM  
Filters are working against me today...I thought
the "first" comment was appropriate... oh well
2004-03-16 03:09:02 PM  
We went through this yesterday. This guy claims the Chinese discovered the Americas in 1421. Yet L'Anse aux Meadows, a Norse settlement in Newfoundland, was settled around 1000. In fact, there's speculation the Vikings may even have gone as far south as New England. They don't even get a mention in the article. What gives?
2004-03-16 03:14:36 PM  
Come on, some guy just xeroxed a map he drew at kinko's on to their new 100# rawhide stock, then soaked it in lemon juice and singed the edges to age it.

Spin_Doc: The vikings probably just raped and pillaged the Chinese camps, so they left out of shame and never spoke of the incident again.
2004-03-16 03:15:24 PM  
Maybe it's an attempt by the Italians to get the Casino Americans to quit ragging on them for exploiting North America...
2004-03-16 03:38:57 PM  
Please. Last time I checked, Puerto Rico and Guadalupe are on the east side of the Americas. Are they still there? Yes. Wouldn't the Chinese find the West Coast first? Maybe those islands were Hawaii? or did they take the long way. I need a pic of this map.
2004-03-16 04:13:32 PM  
*biting my tongue so I don't make a comment about Dry Cleaners in Puerto Rico*
2004-03-16 04:16:26 PM  
There is evidence to suggest that Irish monks reached the new world before the Vikings...and the natives reached it before anyone so this really doesn't matter a whole lot.
2004-03-16 04:19:46 PM  
Wouldn't surprise me. Lots of discoveries are made close to the same time. It's whoever is first and proves it is who gets remembered.
2004-03-16 04:39:43 PM  
The map doesn't prove anything. The article is based on a book by Gavin Menzies, who has nearly completely discredited. But the book is popular because it has been skillfully hyped by the publisher.

The map in the reference in the article shows three islands way out west of Europe. Mr. Menzies presumes that the islands are located in the Caribbean, but if actually look at the map you will realize that the longitude of the islands is nearly identical to Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. We have physical proof that Vikings had a settlement in the northern tip of Newfoundland, but to date no ancient chops sticks have been found in the Caribbean.

In his book, Mr. Menzies also presumes that Columbus had access to these Chinese maps (which Mr. Menzies also presumes existed). This is a ridiculous presumption. If Columbus access to these maps, he wouldnt have set sail to India, because he would have known that there was a big freaking continent in his way. If I remember correctly, Columbus died thinking he had had reached the East Indies.

Anyway, the Chinese may have reached America prior to Columbus, but there has been no real proof found.
2004-03-16 04:40:32 PM  
I bet the Indians were suplised.
2004-03-16 06:51:07 PM  
I bet the Indians would be glad to know that the Chinese are now trying to lay claim to the discovery of a land that they, the Indians, had been occupying for the last thousand farking years.

(*Revisionist assholes*)
2004-03-16 08:08:40 PM  
For you Twin Cities "Garage Logicians" out there:

"Ancient map proves..."

Uhhhhh, we don't know that.
2004-03-16 08:08:42 PM  
I don't think anyone else should want to lay claim to having discovered America. After all, it would only end with a bunch of rednecks screaming "Yea, and we kicked your pathetic ethnic asses out of it, too! AAAAAARGH"
2004-03-16 08:08:53 PM  
Vikings, Irish, Chinese, whatever. Whichever Old Worlder got their first is irrelvant. It was Columbus who began the European colonization of the New World, thus Columbus is still the most important "discoverer" of the New World by far.
2004-03-16 08:09:38 PM  
but to date no ancient chops sticks have been found in the Caribbean.

now thats comedy!
2004-03-16 08:12:52 PM  
aaaaaaaaaaaAAAAahahahaahahah! AAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!
2004-03-16 08:14:52 PM  
Wasn't Columbus a greazy little Italian?
2004-03-16 08:14:56 PM  
She's breathing on it! Make her stop!
2004-03-16 08:20:20 PM  
Maybe I can shed some light on your question, TheRealist.
When the fleets were sent out by the emporer, they were all sent west. The Chinese believed that that was were there would be more undiscovered land, as it was thought that Japan was the farthest to their east. There is plenty of evidence that these junks spread far and wide accross the globe. There are accounts of giraffe's and zebras being present in the emperor's zoo as early as the sixteenth century. There has long been speculation by historians that at least one of these junks may have sunk off the east coast of North America(southern Canada most likely). There are numerous references by various Native American tribes to a group of "yellow-skinned" explorers. If this map is legit and the inferences being made are true, then it is the best evidence I have heard to support this theory so far.
2004-03-16 08:20:56 PM  
The aincient chinese and the vikings are the devil!
I discovered America!
2004-03-16 08:21:01 PM  
Isn't this a repeat?
2004-03-16 08:21:05 PM  
What about the Vikings? The Vikings reached Greenland and the Americas, what, a hundred years before Columbus...wouldn't they still be first?

2004-03-16 08:22:04 PM  
of course they found what is today Colombia.

...and went pee pee in their coke.
2004-03-16 08:27:05 PM  
Discover this, discover that...
Doesn't count till you've PW3N3D it!
2004-03-16 08:31:00 PM  
Wasn't a roman coin discovered in some Aztec or Incan dig in South America. Also an Olmec statue found had a lot of African anatomical features on it that Olmecs didn't have. So probably lots of people got swept up in storms and wound up in the Americas, they just didn't know where the hell they were or how to get back home to tell anyone.
2004-03-16 08:31:50 PM  
We'll I don't think the Mormons would like this. Jesus was a Buddhist?
2004-03-16 08:37:43 PM  
Every single civilization reached the americas before Colombus. Duh.
2004-03-16 08:39:04 PM  
this can easily be explained by presence of ancient astronauts, as can any other historical mystery. just watch "in search of" with leonard nimoy.
2004-03-16 08:43:37 PM  
It's not mentioned in this article, but I recall reading of a detail which made me discount at least this source. I mean, sure the Chinese may have done all sorts of exploration we don't know about it, but if so, this guy isn't the one who's figured it out; he has no idea what he's talking about. In another article on this subject, I read how he described 300 meter ships. A 300 meter wooden ship is impossible (and a 300 foot one is pretty unlikely, if somebody got horribly confused by metric/English conversions).
2004-03-16 08:43:43 PM  
"casino americans"

2004-03-16 08:44:26 PM  
Bah. Check out the Vinland Map. We Vikings were here first, and this probably proves it. Heh.

I really don't doubt that the Chinese could have reached North America, though. But, as in the Viking case, the important issue historically is not so much about who got here first, but who actually drew major attention to it. And that distinction unarguably goes to Columbus.
2004-03-16 08:46:36 PM  
You are totally correct.
And well done, a4dzac.
2004-03-16 08:47:52 PM  
/wonders whether the Chinese would have effected the mass slaughter and habitation that the Europeans did.
2004-03-16 08:53:08 PM  
Christopher Columbus didn't have a compass

/singing to self
2004-03-16 08:54:00 PM  
I visited north america from australia in 1401 in a past life. Beat that attention whores!
2004-03-16 08:56:43 PM  
I remember reading a cheesy sci-fi book about what would have happened if the Chinese had gotten to the Americas first, but I can't recall the name. The story revolved around some western european guy (An irishman) getting loose in the "wild wild east".

Totally lame book, but sort of entertaining---has anyone else in Farkville read it? (And it's NOT the Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Robinson)
2004-03-16 08:57:08 PM  
Von Denniken says the "greys" got there first.
2004-03-16 08:57:31 PM  
Well, if they wanted to prove they were here first, they should have killed a few thousand natives and pushed them off their land so people would have remembered them.
2004-03-16 08:59:24 PM  
So, were indigenous Americans unaware that the land they lived on existed before either Europeans or Chinese discovered it for them? What a bunch of crap!
2004-03-16 09:02:18 PM  
Not only was China there first, but the Great Wall is one of the few many made objects visible in space.

/Mau bless official media.
2004-03-16 09:02:22 PM  
Gunned: Probably, White people killed the natives directly and indirectly through disease, so by logic the Chinese woulda killed indirectly atleast because they were kinda connected to the west since the Roman days, the real question is would the chinese have given out Pox Blankets and other biological warfare stuff...
2004-03-16 09:02:33 PM  
In related news, I discovered the Denny's a block from my house. I think I subsequently discovered intestinal parasites.
2004-03-16 09:05:45 PM  
Map of Hawaii?
2004-03-16 09:07:04 PM  
Will students on college campuses start protesting against the Chinese on Columbus Day now?

Those evil explorers!!!
2004-03-16 09:10:35 PM  
According to the Discovery Channel the Ancient Chinese invented everything first...
2004-03-16 09:11:02 PM  
Red 2
The map is legit, but read my post above. The map is most likely being misinterpreted. The portolan is well known in cartographic circles and has been widely accepted as Northeastern Canada.

As to where Zeng He (he was in charge of the Chinese Fleet) sailed no one knows. His mission was deemed a failure and the records were destroyed. There is proof he went into Africa as far as Kenya, but there is no proof he west sailed to America.

The junks that he sailed in were massive - 480' long and 180' across. Mr. Menzies claims that the Chinese sailed this junks up the Mississippi River and then up the Missouri River as far as Kansas City. Highly unlikey. I've also heard the stories about the sunken junks, but those have always turned out to be something else.
2004-03-16 09:12:13 PM  
The VIKINGS still win! Oh, and have you seen drawings of those ancient Chinese ships? They're truly awesome, both in sheer size and cool design.
2004-03-16 09:13:52 PM  
how can you claim to discover land if people already live there?
2004-03-16 09:17:43 PM  
So the Chinese checked out America, dissed it, and so the Native Americans moved in? You've got some screwy logic.
2004-03-16 09:17:47 PM  
Leif Erikson was here first. East coast, probably down to New England. When the other European's came and "discovered" the parts of the Hudson Bay, fishermen from Norway, Sweden, and even the Bask were already there. They were only after the Cod, didn't care about the land, except as a place to camp, and dry the Cod.

However, the Chinese could have been here first. The had a massive fleet. Ships that dwarfed 1492 trio. But before the fleet could sail the emperor died, and the new emperor had the ships burned at anchor.

I can't remember the dates, and GIS has failed me. As I recall they would have beaten the 1492 date, and I think they would have beaten the Erikson 1000 AD date.

The interesting part is, why did they build such a massive fleet? They clearly intended to sail East, so did they know the America's were there? As I recall it's not clear if they had reports of the America's, or just guessed there must be something out there somewhere.

Perhaps someone with better history knowledge can help.
2004-03-16 09:19:02 PM  

The Roman coin is believed to be a hoax by most archeologists. I actually did a paper on the Olmec head statues and the idea that they're African is utterly false. If you look at the Indigenous people who live in that region of Mexico now, they look like the statues: broad noses and lips. You'll find the same thing if you look at Mayan artwork. The only black Africans with seafaring capabilities in that time were the Nubians, who have thin noses and lips, unlike the statues, which resemble West Africans, who did not have the seafaring ability to make it across the Atlantic. The statues are 100% Olmec
2004-03-16 09:19:36 PM  
Oh, so they're not happy with spaghetti and gunpowder anymore, eh? They've got to have America too, huh. Well you can't have it. No, no, no.
2004-03-16 09:20:25 PM  
Since the Indians originally came from Asia thousands of years ago by crossing the Bering Straight ice age bridge, I'll buy that Asians in general were the first ones here.
2004-03-16 09:22:02 PM  
I heard viking artifacts were found in new zealand.
2004-03-16 09:23:01 PM  
"Casino Americans"
That's awesome! I petition to have that put into the official Fark dictionary, along with Forgnby (hope thats spelled right)
2004-03-16 09:25:01 PM  
Oh yeah, I also have read about caucasian mummies being found in the americas which predate the indians.
2004-03-16 09:26:12 PM  
But where the American Indians first?

What about Kenawick (sp) man?

Body found in a river bank in Washington or Oregon, extremely old, didn't look indian. Army engineers buried the site under tons of rocks. Body was either "returned" to the local tribe, or is still in legal limbo.

I put odds on the Americas having been discovered several times even before the "natives" got here.
2004-03-16 09:27:57 PM  
Yeah thats what I just said.
2004-03-16 09:29:57 PM  
Kennewick Man is the correct spelling.
2004-03-16 09:30:43 PM  
True that.
2004-03-16 09:32:04 PM  
The Vikings did arrive in about 1000, and even traveled to as far south as North Carolina. There's plenty of physical evidence to support that.

However, several years ago I remember hearing about some physical evidence of the Chinese arriving much earlier. Apparently they found stone anchors that would've been used on junks during that time off of the California coast (Mendocino County if I remember correctly). They were able to determine that it would've been around the year 700 or so.
2004-03-16 09:32:44 PM  
poster seems to think that a document being the center of debate means that its been proven.
2004-03-16 09:33:49 PM  
Ive heard of migrations through the Canaries to the americas, possibility?

Also, wouldnt by chance some russians or whatever go too far north one day and end up in Canada? Possible I guess.
2004-03-16 09:38:01 PM  
The sinophiles aren't rejoicing? No eastern culture is better than western culture flame wars? There's actually a general consensus?


/i guess sinophiles only cheer when it's a japanese culture vs western culture tiff.
2004-03-16 09:39:35 PM  
Or maybe the Chinese eunich admirals were just pissed off about loosing their manhood that they decided not to tell anyone.
2004-03-16 09:42:58 PM  
I like the Polynesians blown off-course theories myself.

I heard that the Kennewick Man's skull is actually most similar to current Central Asian heads. There's also ideas floating around anthropological/archaeological circles about several colonization waves into the Americas from Northeast Asia. This is mostly based on linguistic analysis.

I think the 1421 thing is hooey, because the Chinese would have written records someplace. A bureaucracy that entrenched simply wouldn't be able to shred it all. Any Chinese farkers care to weigh in on this rumor?
2004-03-16 09:46:06 PM  
Whatever, those Chinese Admirals had some balls though......oh wait......nevermind.
2004-03-16 09:47:30 PM  

I visited north america from australia in 1401 in a past life. Beat that attention whores!

Well, you asked for it. I visited North America from Antarctica in 1373 in my current life.
2004-03-16 09:50:49 PM  
Jesus: Feh...I stormed the beach at 1998! Yes, they did surrender.
2004-03-16 09:54:23 PM  
[image from too old to be available]
2004-03-16 09:55:20 PM  
I have a sudden, irresistable urge to go play Civilization now...
2004-03-16 09:56:32 PM  
"Since the Indians originally came from Asia thousands of years ago by crossing the Bering Straight ice age bridge, I'll buy that Asians in general were the first ones here."

Honestly, I thought everybody knew that.
2004-03-16 10:06:11 PM  
Beppo: You see we're suposed to ignore the fact native americans lived in these lands for thousands of years and even built temples and piramids all over the continent, so that today's people don't feel bad about the first europeans raping their women, mass-obliterating them with diseases like chickenpox and malaria, stealing their land, taking their gold and who knows what else back to europe.
2004-03-16 10:06:19 PM  
to hell with that. it was the north koreans! hail, kim il sung, our great leader!d
2004-03-16 10:10:01 PM  
Since when does evidentiary support become "proof"? I call shenanigans on the headline.
2004-03-16 10:10:04 PM  
I've also heard about Chinese anchors that are several hundred years old being found off the coast of California. Some info on that here. Not much info there, though.

And we all know the Vikings got here. Go Lief!

And we all know the Amerindians got here.

And some think they displaced (killed) several Negrito civilizations descended from folks that came over the Pacific in 40-50,000 BC(E).
2004-03-16 10:10:22 PM  
What kind of an asshat writes an article like this then doesn't include a scan of the map?

It's like opening up a Playboy and having to READ about airbrushed boobies and shaved cooters, rather than actually seeing them. No payoff.
2004-03-16 10:17:01 PM  
I don't get why Columbus is referred to as having "discovered" America. He could more accurately be called the harbinger of European colonialism.

It's pretty clear that the Leif Eriksson's expedition was the first "Old World" group to find and colonize North America, though it didn't wind up being a permanent settlement.

The stories of Irish monks finding North America first are rubbish. First off, it was a single, lone monk (Saint Brenden) who is supposed to have travelled across the Atlantic in little more than a wood rowboat, and then somehow found his way back to Ireland. The first half of his journey has been attempted in recent years by historical recreationists, but they failed. They came close, but ultimately they failed. Never mind that nobody has even attempted the return trip.

Oh, and on a somewhat related note, do a google search for Muslims discovering North America. Seriously, every bloody group with an agenda and a budget claims to be the first one here.
2004-03-16 10:23:32 PM  
North America: Where the discriminating white man comes to live.
2004-03-16 10:25:40 PM  
I live in St. Anthony, Newfoundland, about 20 minutes from the place where the Vikings landed in Newfoundland and built a settlement around year 1000-ish. All of the grass huts are dug out and re-constructed, along with a cheesy Viking Village complete with actors and other crap.

Regardless of the commercialization of the place, it's still an interesting site to visit. There is speculation that the Vikings had contact with the natives inhabiting Newfoundland. Of course, there is no proof because Europeans killed them all.
2004-03-16 10:25:56 PM  
Inasmuch as we are stating who discover America when. Aparently there is a very good case for the Basques making it to the Grand Banks just based on the amount of cod they had fished. It was the only place which could have sustain that amount of fishing. Of course one would never say where your favorite fishing spot was. And just where is the Grand Banks....
2004-03-16 10:27:23 PM  
Señor China Boy?
[image from too old to be available]
Please tell me it's not obscure...
2004-03-16 10:33:51 PM  
People were crossing the oceans at least 3000 years ago. How else would Henut Taui have gotten her cocaine and tobacco fix?
2004-03-16 10:49:29 PM  
Bah. Everyone knows it was the Knights Templar under the command of the Sinclairs.
2004-03-16 10:52:26 PM  
Protagoras: Zhenge He's treasure ships were that big. But they sailed WEST, to Africa.
2004-03-16 10:57:48 PM  
Just curious, but wouldn't it have been a helluva lot more informative article if they actaully SHOWED THE FREAKIN MAP?

/professional Cartographer
2004-03-16 11:01:12 PM  

But seriously, you guys... The Vikings are way cooler than the Chinese. 430 years can't be wrong.

2004-03-16 11:07:25 PM  
2004-03-16 11:08:50 PM  
I always thought that certain idians had a sort of asian "look" to them.

That chinese came over here and got some sweet indian tang!
2004-03-16 11:16:12 PM  
It's impossible! If it were true, it would have been in my school books!

/just getting the basis for 90% of the bad arguments out of the way
2004-03-16 11:22:20 PM  
motionblur --
"Newsflash: The Vikings Were in the Americas First"

FOLLOWUP: The Indians beat the Vikings with something called a Bearing Straight by a couple thousand years or more.

Please. The Indians didn't need discovering. They knew where they were and they were a lot happier before they were "found." So, no... The Vikings didn't discover America first, nor Columbus, nor the Chinese (at least not by ship,) nor the Irish, not even the farking Egyptians or the Romans and their dogs.

Hyernel --
"I always thought that certain idians had a sort of asian "look" to them."

You think so, huh? Possibly because, well ummmm... the Indians came from farking Asia to begin with!?
2004-03-16 11:27:13 PM  
where do people get these misconceptions from?

the large fleet expeditions were well underway before the decree for exploration was cut off...they weren't built and then burned right after lol....

And why do you keep trying to disprove menzies' work by invalidating something historians have already established? they know that a single ship could span up to 600 feet. I mean gee wiz that wasn't even the subject of debate here.

this is what I kno without having read menzies' book about the chinese artifacts discovered as far south as like what peru?

I'm not trying to incite a flame war here. I just want to let us discuss based on the same set of facts and figures.
2004-03-16 11:31:24 PM  
I just wish I lived in 15th century America...with 21st century awareness and knowledge..that concept seriously works for me
2004-03-16 11:40:18 PM  
Congratulations dipshiats. I was beginning to think that the fark community was incapable of going a single thread without mentioning Bush, Clinton or Iraq. To those that are already dead I salute you.
2004-03-16 11:44:17 PM  
Wingman, wtf are you talking about?
2004-03-16 11:51:46 PM  
Mr. Menzies has taken fact already known, added conjecture, and presented them in a jumbled fashion. Some of the presumtions he made are pretty far out there. The man actually believes that Zheng He was in Kansas.

Here is a good article on Mr. Menzies.
2004-03-16 11:53:11 PM  
WIth America you get eggroll or soup.
2004-03-16 11:55:02 PM  
Bah! I thought everyone knew that the dinosaurs discovered America first.

/doesn't care about who killed who 400+ years ago
2004-03-17 12:00:23 AM  
I think the Canadians discovered Canada first.
2004-03-17 12:01:12 AM  
Is this supposed to be something to be proud of?
2004-03-17 12:03:31 AM  
I wish that I knew. Quite a few ounces of vodka ago everything in this world seemed to make sense to me. I was in touch with the rhythm of the universe. God himself had descended from the heavens and had imparted his very knowledge to me. My brain was humming with algorithms, calculations and formulae much too complex for you mere mortals to understand. Or, it's possible that I've had too much to drink, it's your call toughguy. When Sartre and Simon de Beauvoir had sex did they enjoy it? I wish that I knew sonny boy, I wish that I knew.
2004-03-17 12:11:04 AM  
Menzies just pulls everything out of his ass, and it's all full of holes and ludicrous speculation. To make The Wingman happy, I will blame his overhyped idiocy on Bush.
2004-03-17 12:15:44 AM  
I'm confused. Are you being suicidal, poseurish or just a jerk?
2004-03-17 12:15:45 AM  
"Ancient Chinese secret, huh?"

/showing my age
2004-03-17 12:24:24 AM  
2004-03-17 12:15:45 AM Yakivegas

"Ancient Chinese secret, huh?"

/showing my age

Thank you for reminding me how old I am. *sigh*
2004-03-17 12:33:27 AM  
I have a copy of the Vinland maps sitting on my bookshelf, Columbus probably had the same... That said, it's pretty well known that Asian islanders also got to South America well before America was "discovered" (and took the potato back with them).
2004-03-17 12:48:34 AM  
Regardless of Menzies speculation (never read the book). The Chinese were building vastly superior ships at the time and could easliy have done all the things this "crackpot" sugested. To add my own crazy speculation. China was looking for people to trade with, not to colonize. The size of China compared with the european countries at the time would suggest no pressing need to become larger, Europe on the other hand had many countries competing to stay ahead of their neighbours (incedentaly this is why china fell behind europe in time).

Maybe Leonard Nimoys "Ancient Aliens" were actually no-nuts chinese dudes looking for things to trade.

Lastly to I'd like to point out that most of the Aztec (Inca?) Civilization was wiped out with no evil intent. The First explorers they met gave them a TB (or smallpox) virus that was 99% lethal to the Aztec people because they never had horses or cows.
2004-03-17 12:50:14 AM  
Certain afrocentric tales tell of africans sailing to south american on steam ships for peanuts thousands of years ago.

Also, do you have any more information on that negrito massacre theory? Could it explain skin color variations between natives, due to mixing?

And what about Sedna? (Andes)
2004-03-17 12:51:41 AM  
Oh yeah, I forgot, I read somewhere that the conquistadoes recruited natives to use in the war effort. Pretty funny.
2004-03-17 01:04:32 AM  
Damn caught by the filter. That's what happens when you mention certain former socialist countries where it can be hard to reach self gratification. Weeners!
2004-03-17 01:11:44 AM  
America was mostly full of Native Americans......mostly.
2004-03-17 01:25:47 AM  
The Negrito thing came from a documentary I saw on the Science Channel. Some anthropologists in Brazil, I believe, were looking at the oldest skulls found in SA and noticing that their facial features didn't correspond at all to Indian type features, but matched up pretty well to folks like the Aborigines (pronounced ridges above the eyes, flat noses, etc).

This led to a new interpretation of cave art depicting violent scenes found through out SA. The art seemed to start in the North and spread southward. Perhaps it was showing the Indian conquest of the older inhabitants.

They talked to two old women in Tierra del Fuego who are believed to be the last people around to have any significant Negrito ancestry. If I recall correctly, they checked their DNA and found several gene sequences common in Negrito peoples of SE Asia/Indonesia/Australia.

Or maybe the DNA was from the old skulls. Can they get viable DNA from stuff that old?

As Dukkha points out with the potato thing, apparently people could get across the Pacific many thousands of years ago.
2004-03-17 01:38:38 AM  

Yeah, smallpox is a biatch and definitely did most of the work for the Spaniards. Even managed to kill the last true Incan emporer three years before the Spaniards even got to the Pacific coast.


The natives who allied with the Spaniards were traditional enemies of the Aztec and Incan empires, so it was very much my enemy's enemy is my friend. They saw the Spaniards as just another tribe joining in the complex military and political dynamic of the time, and a useful one against the top dogs. Sadly, they didn't understand the new European concept of racism and fanatical, Inquistional religion until it was too late.
2004-03-17 01:48:20 AM  
Stop it, stop it, stop it! Why do these claims keep popping up? "Who discovered America? The Vikings? The Chinese?" Who bloody cares? We all KNOOOOOW that explorers were here before Columbus. End of story. And please don't give me that first-year-college-student-know-it-all line: "There were people living on this continent when Columbus 'discovered' it!" The point in "discovery" is not just finding something then walking away from it, like the Chinese or the Vikings did. Nor is it sitting on your butt stagnating the way the Native tribes were doing. The point in "discovery" is making use of something. (Colonel Parker discovered Elvis. That statement doesn't mean that no one knew that Elvis existed until then. His mother must have known; she gave birth to him.) The thing that makes Columbus the "discoverer" of America, is that his arrival USHERED IN A NEW ERA - for better or worse. If the Chinese had colonized THEN you could call them discoverers. Finding something, putting it on a map, then forgetting about it is NOT a new era; it's the answer to a trivia question.
2004-03-17 01:50:11 AM  

That's really interesting. I'm definitely gonna haveta look into it. Seems plausible to me, judging by the seafaring and island hopping capabilities of those people.

Actually, that reminds me, I recall that there is pretty good evidence that some Japanese fisherman might have washed up on the shores of Peru long ago, because they've found old Japanese style pottery in Peru. Plus, we know the Ainu (indigenous peoples of the Japanese islands) were in contact with (and possibly even related to) the Inuit/Eskimos, as were the Vikings and their descendents in Greenland and Iceland. Funny how the peoples of the North were in contact for millenia without much incident, but then the peoples in the non-frozen section meet up and all hell breaks loose. I guess they were all too cold to get all hot and bothered.
2004-03-17 01:50:41 AM  
I live around Navajo Indians. And yeah, they look Asian. And I love Asian chicks. Therefore, I dig Navajo girls. MMMMMM. Even though the native guys that date only white girls say that native chicks have flat asses. LOL.
2004-03-17 01:56:34 AM  

I agree with what you say, but how exactly were the natives of the Americas stagnating? The Aztecs and Incas were the latest in a long line of ancient civilizations in their regions and had art and mathematical/scientific know how that could put the Europeans of the time to shame (the Maya, especially). Tenochtitlan, now Mexico City, was far larger than any European city and far grander. The Spanish soldiers who first entered the city were awed by it, even those who had been to Istanbul, Alexandria, Venice, and Grenada and all said it was the greatest city they had ever seen in terms of size and beauty. There was no stagnation here. Just a people unlucky enough not to be have ever been exposed to smallpox in tens of thousands of years.
2004-03-17 01:59:38 AM  
The theories surrounding who the first people to reach the North/South American Contients are too numerous to count. They are also held under the sway of contemporary racial/ethnic politics.

Short version: The official story is still the Alaska land bridge, and is religiously held to by almost all respected academics. The problem is, anomalies keep popping up which threaten the official version. But they are too scattered, fragmentary, etc. to provide opponents of the official version with enough proof to rewrite the textbooks. In addition, anything which threatens the status of today's American Indian as the descendant of the original settlers is systematically ignored, suppressed, and lambasted as racist revisionism. Bottom line: no one will ever know or be able to conclusively prove the absolute truth.
2004-03-17 02:51:29 AM  
CHina still conquered America in the end....

I challenge you to try and pick up something in your house that doesn't have "MADE IN CHINA" stamped on it somewhere.

If you succeed, the next level of the challenge is to the same thing in Wal-Mart.

Thank God for billions of peasant Chinese workers.
2004-03-17 03:05:12 AM  
Replace every occurrence of the word "discover" with the word "invade" in the article and comments to this thread, and everything starts to make a lot more sense.

"Columbus was the first one to invade america"
"No it was the chinese who invaded first!"
"But the indians were already here!"
"exactly. Hence the term 'invaded'"
2004-03-17 04:10:32 AM  
When I made the "stagnating" comment, I guess my mind was locked on a Lewis & Clark display I just saw at a museum. They had a replica of the boards and ropes that Flathead Indians used to squish their babies heads into a "nifty" shape; that shape a head SHOULD be in, if only God hadn't screwed-up and thoughtlessly made spherical.

No wonder they couldn't think up the wheel: they were offended by all things round.

I suppose my point is: Though all civilizations have their way of doing things, and most have past grandeur, you gotta stay IN the game. You can't say, "We once had a fabulous civilization." And all that "invade" stuff is just childish. How can ANY civilization expect to stay isolated forever. The American Tribes were BOUND to run into Europeans one fine day. And when societies meet, one will vanish - whether by violent overthrow or by the simple fact that the new chaps have more interesting art or customs. I love the people who are offended that Europeans gave Indians the smack-down. The Indian tribes were warring with each other, then another "tribe" shows up and slaps them all. What? Are the Euorpeans supposed to leave the Indians alone because varsity teams can't play against junior varsity?
2004-03-17 06:04:29 AM  
[image from too old to be available]

2004-03-17 06:12:16 AM  
[image from too old to be available]
Chinese lost on this one...
2004-03-17 08:00:34 AM  
Indians ARE Chinese. Notice how Mexicans and Koreans sorta look the same......
2004-03-17 08:49:27 AM  
Oh really?
2004-03-17 08:58:07 AM  
I submitted this days ago with a MUCH funnier headline...

/yeah, right, whatever...
2004-03-17 09:25:17 AM  
...fleets of Chinese junks commanded by the eunuch admirals of Emperor Zhu Di...

I just love this sentence fragment.
2004-03-17 10:15:38 AM

The largest definitely known entirely wooden ship is just over 80 meters. As this article reports, iron reinforced wood ships got up to 340 feet, and ships at that upper limit were structurally questionable at best. Somebody have a link to the definite proof of these 480 foot, 600 foot, or most laughably of all the 300 meter ships Menzies talked about? I didn't think so.

Not knocking the Chinese at all. If Menzies had said they built iron ships of that size, I'd have been pretty surprised, but wouldn't have said it was impossible. But he said wood. That is impossible, no matter how clever the Chinese were.
2004-03-17 10:34:40 AM  
"Vikings, Irish, Chinese, whatever. Whichever Old Worlder got their first is irrelvant. It was Columbus who began the European colonization of the New World, thus Columbus is still the most important "discoverer" of the New World by far."

suetekh: I believe you mean that it was Columbus who began the European subjugation, terrorization and outright slaughter of the existing inhabitants of the New World. So, if by 'most important discoverer', you mean 'greediest, amoral conquering asshole', you are correct.
2004-03-17 10:41:03 AM  
bashing columbus is stupid. It was a different world then.
2004-03-17 11:47:57 AM  
Actually the people who discovered America were the native americans. You know, the ones who where there before Columbus, before the Chinese and before the Vikings.
2004-03-17 12:55:07 PM  
Since nobody did it...

I for one, welcome our new Ancient Chinese Explorer overlords

2004-03-17 01:05:16 PM  

Sadly, they didn't understand the new European concept of racism and fanatical, Inquistional religion until it was too late.

No, they didn't understand fanatical religion even as they were sacrificed by the Azteks. Only the big bad Europeans were capable of that! And they didn't know racism, though they knew tribal war and rivalry rather well, as the "complex military and political dynamic of the time" certainly educated them before the Spanish arrived.
2004-03-17 01:13:15 PM  
And yes, I meant the SUV, not the native American empire.
2004-03-17 01:43:29 PM  
why were the admirals all eunichs?
2004-03-17 02:08:38 PM  
So, where do you stand on Neanderthals? The reason I ask is that they were the 'original' inhabitants of Europe, until we 'greedy, amoral conquering asshole' Homo Sapiens showed up.

Evolution is not pretty. It is, however, unstoppable. Human populations have never been closed systems. Hundreds of nations, languagues, and cultures have been and gone, absorbed into others or exterminated by others. So where do we draw the line on who is a historic criminal and who is not? Knee-jerk anti-Europeanism does not provide a viable philosophy.
2004-03-17 02:25:53 PM  
Shhhh! Don't tell the Chinese government or they'll want it back!
2004-03-17 04:31:13 PM  
Were all the crew eunuchs or just the admirals?

/Doesn't make promotion look very attractive.

It would explain why they left no descendants.
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