The Piri Rre'is Map

Most of our history and our civilization are based on absolutely no physical evidence, usually just hearsay and speculation. These are conducted into theories so strong that make actual artefacts seem so distant and unbelievable. What I am saying? Imagine scientists to discover armor-piercing bullets embedded in a dinosaur skeleton. It would probably be something that only an expert in the field would recognize as anomalous.

Among others there is one artifact, which shakes the basis of our knowledge of history. Its not a description of the structure and function of DNA, or knowledge of astronomy or physics which is only known to modern science. Its only an accurate map of the earth drawn long before the "Age of Exploration". It's the Piri Re'is anomalous map.

During renovations of the old Imperial Palace in Constantinople, in 1929, a painted, parchment map was found, dated in the month of Muharrem, in the Moslem year 919 (A.D. 1513), and signed by an admiral of the Turkish navy, Piri Ibn Haji Memmed, known as Piri Re’is. According to Piri Re’is, the map had been assembled from a set of 20 maps drawn in the time of Alexander the Great.

Thought to be one of the earliest “world maps” to show the Americas, the map was originally used to bolster Turkish national pride. Early scholars suggested that it showed accurate latitudes of the South American and African coastlines - only 21 years after the voyages of Columbus! We must keep in mind that Columbus did not discover North America. Only the Caribbean.

Writing in Piri Re’is own hand described how he had made the map from a collection of ancient maps, supplemented by charts that were drawn by Columbus himself. This suggests that these ancient maps were available to Columbus and could have been the basis of his expedition.

The Piri Re’is Map is only one of several anomalous maps drawn in the 15th Century and earlier which appear to represent better information about the shape of the continents than should have been known at the time.

Piri Re’is, Ptolomy (2nd Century A.D.), as well as Mercator and Oronteus Finaeus, well-known 15th Century mapmakers, included the traditional southern continent in their world maps, as did others. Antarctica was not discovered until the 19th Century, and it was largely unexplored until the middle of the 20th.

Anomalous maps also show the Behring Strait as linking Asia and America, river deltas which appear much shorter than they do today, islands in the Aegean which haven’t been above water since the sea-level rise at the end of the ice-age and huge glaciers covering Britian and Scandinavia. Long dismissed as attempts by cartographers to fill in empty spaces, some of the details of the old maps look very startling when correlated with modern (very mainstream) knowledge of the changes in the Earths’ geography in the geologic past, particularly during the Ice Ages.

The Piri Re’is map is most interesting because of the attribution of the source of its information, and the extraordinary detail of the coastal outlines.

A copy of the map was presented to a diplomat in the U.S. government, where it remained a curious artifact for years. The true mysteries of this map were eventually discovered by professor Charles H. Hapgood and revealed to the scientific community in his book, Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings.

During scrutiny of the map, Hapgood discovered a partial charting of Antarctica, made during a period when the coast was free of ice. This coastal structure, now covered again by ice, was subsequently verified by satellite radar scanning. Ice core samples of the coastline have fixed the last ice-free period to between 11,000 B.C. and 4,000 B.C.

Our historical understanding of navigation includes a period of time before which it was impossible to determine ships latitude in the Southern Hemisphere. This was because the known method involved sighting the angle of the only fixed star -the North Star-, which cannot be seen in the Southern Hemisphere because of the curvature of the Earth. Despite this handicap, these maps show amazing details and accurate latitude placement of many known islands along the southern most coastlines of Antarctica!

The coastline and island that are shown in Antarctica must have been navigated at some period prior to 4,000 B.C. when these areas were free of ice from the last Ice Age. Our modern knowledge of the coastline under the ice was obtained using seismic sounding data from Antarctic expeditions in the 1940s and 50s. Sonar is one way to map the coast under the Antarctic glaciers. The other way would be to have surveyed them when they were ice-free. According to Hapgood, who based the claim on 1949 core samples from the Ross Sea, the last time the particular area shown in the Piri Re’is map was free of ice was more than 6000 years ago. More recent studies show that this may be off by a couple of orders of magnitude. In any case, this geography should have been unknown to the ancients.

Hapgood has proved that the Piri Re’is map is plotted out in plane geometry, containing latitudes and longitudes at right angles in a traditional “grid”; yet it is obviously copied from an earlier map that was projected using spherical trigonometry! Not only did the early mapmakers know that the Earth was round, but they had knowledge of its true circumference to within 50 miles!

The “center” of the source map projected from coordinates in what is now Alexandria - the center of culture and home of the world’s oldest and largest library until its destruction by Christian invaders.

The Piri Re’is map is often exhibited in cases seeking to prove that civilization was once advanced and that, through some unknown event or events, we are only now gaining any understanding of this mysterious cultural decline.