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Did the Chinese Discover America?

 
 
Letty
 
Reply Mon 13 Jan, 2003 01:29 pm
Well, did they? Laughing
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 2,538 • Replies: 14
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Letty
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Jan, 2003 01:30 pm
Here's the link:
http://www.cnn.com/2003/SHOWBIZ/books/01/13/1421/index.html
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patiodog
 
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Reply Mon 13 Jan, 2003 01:40 pm
I read about this guy a year or so ago. Fascinating, whether it's true or not. Certainly there is a great deal of evidence that the Chinese would have been capable -- far more capable than any European nation -- of such a feat. Right around the time in question the focus of Chinese rulers turned inward. Whether the fleet/flotilla was called back, as was previously thought, or carried on could be a very interesting question. Certainly my first reaction is one of strong skepticism, but I haven't read the book or any reviews of the research and claims; I'll be interested to see how (or if) this resolves.

(The Vikings still beat 'em, though.)
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Letty
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Jan, 2003 02:00 pm
Yeah, patio. Guess Eric is still well "red" Razz

I've always been curious about archaeology ever since I read a book called: Lost Cities and Vanished Civilizations by Silverberg, I think.
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BoGoWo
 
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Reply Wed 15 Jan, 2003 05:24 pm
Chinese Explorers;
It seems Chinese Emporer Zhu Di had two extremely competent explorers in his employ, Am Eh, and Ri Kha. And he had a habit of naming the regions that they discovered after them; you figure it out!
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BillW
 
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Reply Wed 15 Jan, 2003 05:30 pm
11:00 - Gavin Menzies: 1421 (William Morrow)

In a new book, retired British Royal Navy commander and amateur historian Gavin Menzies asserts that the Chinese discovered America 70 years before Columbus. Diane talks with him about his research and the controversy surrounding the publication of his book.

http://www.wamu.org/dr/

The last caller on the show this day pointed out that the Indians discovered America over 11,000 years ago!
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patiodog
 
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Reply Wed 15 Jan, 2003 06:11 pm
(Indians? Hmm, I thought some folks from Siberia found it. ;-) )
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Mr Stillwater
 
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Reply Wed 15 Jan, 2003 06:40 pm
The Chinese court conducted 7 voyages from 1405-1433, most commanded by the eunuch Zheng He, reaching the Red Sea and charting Africa. The fleets proved to be too costly and were abandoned as conflict with the Mongols escalated.

The point is that if such huge fleets were sent out regularly, how could they MISS the American continent? It stretches just about from Pole to Pole, and at some point in history vessels from Asia (traders and fishers) must have either sighted or landed on North America.
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Letty
 
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Reply Wed 15 Jan, 2003 06:42 pm
Hey,Bo,

Been a while, huh? I definitely defer to someone so close to the Siberian Straits...designed any kitchens for Igloos lately?Wait a minute...should that be Iberian? Ah, well, we'll all end up with primitive eyelids anyway... Laughing
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Steve 41oo
 
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Reply Wed 15 Jan, 2003 06:46 pm
Yes, certainly.

But then they went home.
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Asherman
 
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Reply Wed 15 Jan, 2003 06:47 pm
Conventional wisdom has it that the great Age of Chinese naval exploration tended to remain close to Asiatic shorelines. They reached as far as Africa, but none of the records I'm aware of give any indication that serious exploration was made eastward across the Pacific. Could the Chinese have made landfall somewhere along the Pacific coast of the Americas? Certainly they had the technological capablility, but I doubt they had the will.

In any case, if they came, they left without making any permanent imprint on these continents, nor on the islands that should have been on their route.
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nelsonn
 
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Reply Sat 18 Jan, 2003 12:09 am
Purported Chinese Discovery of America
It seems to me that there is no evidence. The voyages of the Ming fleets were well documented, but there is no record of landfalls beyond the West coast of Africa. The "evidence" is similar to theories that the Mandans along the Missouri were descended from Welsh ancestors, etc.
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Asherman
 
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Reply Sat 18 Jan, 2003 07:38 am
Well actually Nelsonn, the evidence is stronger than the theories about the Mandans being decsended from Welsh ancestors. On the other hand the evidence is much less than that for Viking settlement all along the Atlantic coastline. Welcome to A2K.
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Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Jan, 2003 11:19 am
they might have done, but sometimes I really wish they had not bothered
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najmelliw
 
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Reply Mon 20 Jan, 2003 03:51 am
Yeah well, since a huge amount of things was discovered by the Chinese, I'll remain open to the suggestion to number the America's amongst them.
What amazes me though is that, if they did so, they didn't try and set up trade routes with the Americas. They just discovered it, charted the coastlines(presumably), and left, never to come back?
Strange.
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