(ORDO NEWS) — Recently, cartographers have discovered a fairly accurate representation of Antarctica on geographical maps of the 16th century, and, what is most surprising, without its ice cap. But where did medieval geographers get information about the coastline of this remote continent, and was it really ice-free in the relatively recent past? According to existing scientific ideas, ice has bound Antarctica for millions of years! The sensational discovery baffled both geologists and historians …
It all started in 1953, when the news spread around the world: on the old Turkish map of the world, dating back to 1516, Antarctica is depicted, which was discovered only 300 years later!
The famous Turkish admiral and cartographer Piri Reis drew a map at the beginning of the 16th century, and in 1929, Dr. Ethem discovered it in the Sultan’s palace in Istanbul. In the 1950s, a copy of the map came to the United States, where Professor X. Mullery, a connoisseur of such finds, became interested in it.
The map attracted attention not only by the fact that it turned out to be one of the first such documents, but also by the correct location of the South American continent relative to the African one, which is completely uncharacteristic for portolans (ancient maps used mainly by European navigators of the Middle Ages). However, the proportions of many lands, especially the strange land in the South Pole region, have been distorted; X. Mullery suggested that the reason could lie in some unknown way of displaying the cartographic projection. Having spent a lot of time studying the map, he came to a paradoxical conclusion: to build it, it was necessary not only to know the exact dimensions of the Earth, but also to have knowledge in spherical trigonometry, which arose only in the 18th century. Moreover, the so-called azimuth projection should be applied to the map,
To test his assumptions, the professor drew a map of Piri Reis in the appropriate grid of coordinates and superimposed it on the modern map of the world, drawn in the same grid. And they coincided! The most striking thing is that the coastline of the mysterious southern continent on the Piri Reis map as a whole repeated the coastline of Antarctica, which became known only in the 20th century! After completing his work, Professor Mullery stated that the only way to create a map of this accuracy was aerial photography.
A message from time immemorial
Piri Reis in his notes says that he copied the map from some “Alexandrian sources” (perhaps he used ancient Greek or Phoenician materials that were once stored in the deceased library of Alexandria). This is consistent with the results of research by Mullery, who found that the rules for building a map and its cartographic projection were significantly different from those that were known in the 16th century. Probably, Piri Reis could not understand these rules, he simply transferred everything as it is from the ancient map to his own, which caused distortions.
Researches H. Mullery caused a wave of interest in old maps. It turned out that many of them, even dating back to the 15th century and earlier, depict some kind of land in the area of the South Pole. Before the discovery of the Piri Reis map, this circumstance was not given much importance. It was believed that the hypothetical dry land in the far south is a tribute to a tradition dating back to the era of antiquity. Even Herodotus and Ptolemy wrote that at the southern end of the world there must necessarily be a land “balancing” northern Hyperborea. Now these cards began to be examined more closely, applying to them the method discovered by Mullery.
Here is what the famous cartographer C. Hapgood writes in his book “Nautical Maps of Ancient Kings”: “… In the process of researching the work of Piri Reis, we naturally tried to find other portolans of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, on which Antarctica could be shown. A number of such maps were discovered, because, as already mentioned, many cartographers of the 15th and 16th centuries believed in the existence of the southern continent …
I have stumbled upon many amazing things that I never expected to meet, as well as a number of portolans from the southern continent. One day I turned the page and froze, nailed to the spot. When my eyes fell on the Southern Hemisphere of Orontius Finney’s map of the world (1532), the first thing that crossed my mind was the thought of finding an authentic map of the real Antarctica.
In general outline, the continent surprisingly resembled its modern image. The position of the South Pole almost in the center of the continent turned out to be close to the true one. The mountain ranges on the outskirts corresponded to the numerous uplifts discovered in Antarctica only in recent years … The mountain ranges had characteristic individual features, located along the coast and inland. Most of these mountains were fed by rivers that traverse dry, drained plains and flow into the sea.
This made sure that the coast was ice-free at the time of the original. In the interior there were no rivers or mountains, which indicated the presence of an ice cover there … ”.
“There was no ice yet …”
After careful study of the images of the southern land on various old maps, Hapgood came to the conclusion that they all go back to some one image, or to some original portolan, which, apparently, reached the era of Antiquity from much earlier times. During this time, the ancient map was repeatedly crushed into pieces and rejoined, which inevitably led to distortions. And yet, in some of its versions (such as the maps of Piri Reis, Orontius Finney and others), it reached the Renaissance in a more or less integral form, retaining its original appearance and projection.
In 1959, during the International Geophysical Year, services of various countries using seismic sounding compiled a map of the subglacial relief of Antarctica. This map, when compared with the medieval sources mentioned, sheds light on the extent of the glaciation of the southern continent at the time the original ancient map was created.
“Among the most notable parts of his map (Orontius Finney. – I.V.). The one that we identified as the Ross Sea stands out, writes C. Hapgood. – A modern map points to places where large glaciers such as Badmore or Scott carry millions of tons of ice into the sea every year. Finney’s scheme shows fjord-like estuaries (single-arm river mouths widening towards the sea. – I.V.). Together with wide bays and river valleys of a size that could correspond to the size of the current glaciers. And some of these fjords are like an approximate continuation of glacial flows.
Open estuaries and rivers provide evidence that ice was not yet present at or near the Ross Sea when the original map was drawn. Moreover, a vast, ice-free inland land had to exist in order to feed the rivers. At the present time, all these shores and adjoining parts of the inland areas are buried under a one-mile layer of the ice cap, while a floating ice shelf several hundred feet thick rests on the Ross Sea … ”.
We are waiting for archaeological finds!
In 1949, one of the American expeditions, in order to study the evolution of the climate in Antarctica, took core samples from the bottom of the Ross Sea – bottom sediments. They were examined by the ion dating method, which was new for those years, developed by the nuclear physicist Dr. V.D. Uri. Sample analysis has shown that over the past million years, Antarctica has had at least three eras of temperate climates, when the coast of the Ross Sea should have been ice-free. The end of the last warm period, determined by Dr. Uri, ended about six thousand years ago, or in the fourth millennium BC.
Repeated studies of cores from the bottom of the Ross Sea in the 1980s yielded the same result.
Thus, the conclusions of geophysicists confirm the evidence of ancient maps that ancient people visited Antarctica long before the voyages we know.
In the absence of an alternative, we are forced to attribute the original map to the pre-Hellenic time, since in the era of Antiquity, as studies show, Antarctica was already chained in ice.
Portolans are irrefutable evidence that a civilization with advanced technology existed on Earth even before the birth of all known cultures. This civilization spanned the entire world and, at least in some areas, reached a higher level than Egypt, Babylon, Greece and Rome.
In astronomy, nautical art and cartography, it excelled more than any country before the 18th century. It was only in the 18th century that we first measured the circumference of the Earth and learned how to correctly determine the longitude, and our ships began to go to Antarctica even later – starting from the 19th century. The maps say that in ancient times someone was already doing all this. So it is possible that someday, under the thick layers of the south polar ice, we will find wreckage of ships that are as old as Noah’s ark. Maybe even older.
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