An ancient Chinese map found in a used bookstore helps prove that the Chinese Admiral Zheng He discovered America before Christopher Columbus, according to a historian.
British historian Gavin Menzies makes the claim in his newest book, “Who Discovered America?”
“The traditional story of Columbus discovering the New World is absolute fantasy, it’s fairy tales,” Menzies told the Daily Mail.
The map found in the bookstore is purportedly an 18th century copy of a 1418 map from He.
Menzies has multiple controversial theories, including that the first inhabitants of the Western hemisphere were Chinese sailors who crossed the Pacific Ocean 40,000 years ago.
Further, Menzies says that Columbus had He’s map when he sailed to America.
Menzies put forth the theories in a previous book but just recently discovered the map, which he says adds strength to his theories.
As part of his argument, he says that Chinese names of villages in Peru signal that the Chinese were there first.
The Chinese arrived at the Americas no later than 1421, 71 years before Columbus visited the islands of the Caribbean in 1492, he writes in the book. Zheng He visited the Outer Banks and North Carolina, among other places.
Menzies mentions in his introduction how he was called a fraud for his previous books because of purported lack of evidence behind his claims.
But the record has strengthened since then and “provides broad proof about China in the New World,” he writes.
“I bring along fellow travelers on my journeys in search of new evidence about the exploration of the Americas, and some of the travelers are skeptics themselves, ” he writes. “I welcome challenges and I share data with a network of readers and fellow explorers. We have been gathering a mountain of new data in these 10 years since publication of ‘1421,’ so much material that it now time to published more evidence of the Chinese exploration of America.”
Part of the new data is the result of advances in genetics and DNA testing and analysis, he says.
However, some people say that Menzies and his information is not reliable.
Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, professor of history at the University of London, dismissed one of his earlier books, 1421: The Year China Discovered the World, as “the historical equivalent of stories about Elvis Presley in Tesco and close encounters with alien hamsters,” reported the Telegraph.