Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Map is a puzzle for researchers

From Yahoo News

Why did the mapmaker name the territory America and then change his mind later? How was he able to draw South America so accurately? Why did he put a huge ocean west of America years before European explorers discovered the Pacific?
The map was created by the German monk Martin Waldseemuller. Thirteen years after Christopher Columbus first landed in the Western Hemisphere, the Duke of Lorraine brought Waldseemuller and a group of scholars together at a monastery in Saint-Die in France to create a new map of the world.
"The actual shape of South America is correct," said Hebert. "The width of South America at certain key points is correct within 70 miles of accuracy."
Given what Europeans are believed to have known about the world at the time, it should not have been possible for the mapmakers to produce it, he said.

Maybe they traveled further than we think they did. Maybe they were smarter than we think they were. Maybe we need to follow the clues history leaves us and just not discard them because we don't like them.