(ORDO NEWS) — The Piri Reis map is not just a literal work of cartographic art, it is a map that has influenced the creation of countless conspiracy theories and is the subject of much controversy to this day.
The Piri Reis map is perhaps the most controversial surviving document from the Age of Discovery and is constantly at the center of controversy.
The controversy is mostly fueled by conspiracy theorists regarding the Piri Reis map as evidence of old surveys of the Antarctic coast from before the Age of Discovery.
A Brief History of the Piri Reis Map
The history of this card is interesting. Luckily, the German theologian Gustav Adolf Deismann stumbled upon her. It is known exactly on which day he stumbled upon her – October 9, 1929.
Deissmann was appointed by the Turkish Ministry of Education to catalog non-Islamic works in the Topkapı Palace Library. At Deissmann’s urging, the palace manager Khalil Eden organized a search and was able to find some abandoned and forgotten materials.
Picking up the map, Deissmann realized that he might have a unique find in his hands, so he showed it to the orientalist Paul Calais, who identified it as a map compiled by Piri Reis.
The find became an international sensation as it was at the time the only known copy of Christopher Columbus’ world map, and also the only 16th-century map showing South America in a geographically correct longitudinal position with respect to Africa.
The fragment found at Topkapı contained the surviving western third of a map of the world drawn on gazelle-skin parchment. Due to the damaged corner of the fragment, its dimensions are also disputed, but values about 90 x 63 cm are indicated.
The surviving fragment contains the west coast of Africa and the east coast of South America. The map was signed by Piri Reis, an Ottoman admiral, geographer and cartographer, and dated the Islamic month of Muharram, 919, which corresponds to 1513 in the Gregorian calendar.
It was presented to Sultan Selim I in 1517 as the first printed map in the Ottoman Empire. In the legend of the map, Piri Reis describes that he used twenty graphs and mappae mundi (i.e. “maps of the world”) to compile it. According to Reis, these maps included eight Ptolemaic maps, an Arabic map of India, four recently compiled Portuguese maps of Sindh (Pakistan), and a map of the western lands by Christopher Columbus.
Currently, the Piri Reis map is kept in the Topkapı Palace Library in Istanbul, Turkey, but is not usually on public display. A copy of the Piri Reis map is depicted on the back of Turkish 10 lira banknotes.
Discussions, controversies and conspiracy theories
Since its discovery, the map has been the subject of various conspiracy theories that depict Antarctica 300 years before the discovery of the south polar continent. Another even more fantastic claim is that Antarctica is not only depicted, but shown as it was before it was covered by an ice cap over 6,000 years ago.
The big controversy around the Piri Reis map began in 1965, when Professor Charles Hapgood published his hypothesis about what is depicted on the map in the book Maps of Ancient Sea Kings.
Together with his students from the University of New Hampshire, the professor studied the map and found a number of anomalies, such as the use of the Mercator projection and the inclusion of glacial Antarctica. The Greeks knew and made maps with a cylindrical projection, based on their understanding of the spherical shape of the Earth.
Europeans began to use the Mercator projection only at the end of the 16th century (the inventor of the projection, the cartographer Gerard Mercator, was born in 1512, and the Piri Reis map dates from the following, 1513).
European sailors learned to use astronomy and geometry to determine longitude and latitude only after the invention of the chronometer in 1760. And if these two inconsistencies can be logically explained using Greek source maps and graphs from the time of Alexander the Great, then the inclusion of Antarctica cannot be explained by anything.
Hapgood suggested that the Piri Reis map was based on material dating back to at least 4000 BC, that is, before all known civilizations came up with the idea of writing and, even more so, mapping the world around them.
Hapgood’s theory suggests that an unknown prehistoric civilization had the technology to navigate the planet’s major shipping lanes and had a relatively accurate idea of the geography of the globe.
The professor also suggested that topographical descriptions of the interior of the continents were possible if the “prehistoric super-civilization” had the technology of flight, so they were masters of not only sea but also air navigation.
Serious scientists have noted that the map depicts the coastline of South America quite accurately. In favor of this is a very exact match with modern geographical features along the coast and hinterland of the continent, which are presented on the map of the beginning of the 16th century, and it should be assumed that Antarctica and South America once connected in the region of Uruguay, and Argentina did not exist.
On the map of Piri Reis there is an image of Antarctica without the ice cover of the continent, and this plunges world scientists into shock, because in their opinion only satellite images and technologies of the twentieth century gave us the opportunity to see exactly how the South Pole continent looks under a thick layer of ice, and once thousands of years ago, “there were no satellites,” then official science simply refuses to accept this fact, pretending that this does not exist at all.
Professor Hapgood has another interesting hypothesis that a sudden change in the tilt of the earth’s axis occurred around 9500 BC and led to the displacement of Antarctica, sending it hundreds of kilometers to the south, which led to a change in climatic conditions and the covering of the continent with an ice cap.
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