At http://badarchaeology.wordpress.com/2013/01/03/old-maps-the-americas-and… … firstly this blog is rather pretentious and orthodox in outlook, authored by someone that thinks he has a mission to debunk what he regards as non-mainstream nonsense. However, sometimes it is worth paying attention to what these people are saying as they perhaps have come across some damning evidence. In this instance, he might just have done that.
His target is usually that genre of books that includes the likes of von Daniken, Robert Bauval and Graham Hancock, amongst many others. He is also critical of Velikovsky – but nothing unusual in that. In this post he objects to Hapgood's Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings, as favoured by Hancock (and others) but there are some interesting nuances as he reveals he found Hapgood somewhat tiresome when it came to where he described how he set his students to work, using geometry and mathematics. He is an archaeologist and one wonders how he got that far if he wasn't conversant in enough maths to understand the basics of cartography – but there you go. Mick Aston had a lovely piece on maps and the study of them in a recent issue of Current Archaeology so I suppose it depends on which archaeologist is involved.
From the perspective of SIS – we have had several articles in the past on Hapgood's maps and numerous references to them, so this subject is more than a passing interest. The author begins with the well known tactic of attacking the messenger in a personal manner, in this case emphasizing Hapgood was a geography teacher rather than a professor, and therefore somehow unqualified to have an opinion. Hapgood was somebody that liked maps, and how maps came to be, but he set his students an experiment after reading a theory by AH Mallery, who thought the Piri Reiss map might show the coast of Antarctica – as it is beneath the ice sheet. The blog author dismisses Mallery as virtually a moron – in spite of admitting he was a US Navy Hydrography Officer (and clearly was not so). Mallery presumably had seen the coast of Antarctica and it is true the map seems to show a continent to the south of South America – although various people have noted it is perhaps the coast of South America on a different projection rather than Antarctica, and there are good reasons to think this.
What the blog author makes clear is that the western section of the map, the Americas and most of Europe, are derived from a Spanish or Portuguese source, and are not in the Turkish or Arabic tradition. These maps were made by explorers after 1492 and long before the southern continent was reached – although it was thought it existed as it often appeared in maps, filling the bottom sections. The blog author claims there was no earlier map of the region – and it was out of the sailing range of the Arabs and the Turks (otherwise they would have got there before Columbus, as they did India, SE Asia and China). The Ottoman Empire inherited the Arab maps and therefore that part of the world as recorded on the Piri Reiss map.
When it comes to the Orontius Finnaeus Map of 1531, and Antarctica, he compares it to the northern coast of Australia. He is not the first person to make this link so it is not particularly revolutionary in outlook. In addition, he fails to spot a possible link between Arab sea voyages and the discovery of Arab coins on a beach in Australia (as reported in the press and blogosphere in recent weeks). Is this proof that Arab voyagers reached Australia 500 years ago?