Anomalous Ancient Maps

To prove that not all crows are black, only one white crow need be found. To prove that our official version of History is wrong, only one anomaly need be found. But we’ve found thousands – so how much longer until our schoolbooks are rewritten?

It is commonly believed that the ancients saw the world as follows:


We can give Herodotus credit here for at least acknowledging a place called “Atlantes” and placing it not far from where the actual Atlantis was.

The following evidence shows that not all people saw the world in this way. There appears to have been a hidden knowledge circulated only among the select. There appear to have been some who had better maps than the general public. What we learn in school about how the ancients saw the world is how the commoners of ancient times saw the world, not the initiated – those who have retained information from an earlier, more advanced time.

Even in 430 B.C., when Herodotus made his map, the expert seafaring culture of the Phoenicians had already circled the African continent, had already been to England and there was trade between Bactria and India. In other words, just because one map-maker was ignorant of the wider world, does not mean everyone was. Herodotus didn’t have the luxury to Google-Search the routes of Phoenician ships.

The Portolan Charts

portolan chart


portolan charts atlantis

The portolan charts were secret seafaring maps first used by the Italians in 1275 and later used in Spain, Portugal and by the Dutch and English (the third picture showing a world map is from the 16th Century). They were treated as “state secrets” for providing invaluable information on trading routes, ports and harbors. They emphasize the coastlines instead of information about the inland. The criss-crosses you see on these charts are compass-directions.

The problem? They are much too detailed and accurate for the time they were supposedly made in! These secret maps look nothing like the normal maps that were in circulation in medieval times. This, for comparison, is the Cantino World Map of the year 1502 (made more than 200 years after the first known portolan chart). It is typical of the maps of the time in its crudeness:


Quoting from an article in the Washington Post:

…one of the world’s greatest and most enduring mysteries: Where and how did medieval mapmakers, apparently armed with no more than a compass, an hourglass and sets of sailing directions, develop stunningly accurate maps of southern Europe, the Black Sea and North African coastlines, as if they were looking down from a satellite, when no one had been higher than a treetop?

The earliest known portolan chart, the Carta Pisana, just appears in about 1275 — with no known predecessors. It is perhaps the first modern scientific map and contrasted sharply to the “mappamundi” of the era, the colorful maps with unrecognizable geography and fantastic creatures and legends. It bears no resemblance to the methods of the mathematician Ptolemy and does not use measurements of longitude and latitude.

And yet, despite it’s stunning accuracy, the map “seems to have emerged full-blown from the seas it describes,” one reference journal notes. No one today knows who made the first maps, or how they calculated distance so accurately, or even how all the information came to be compiled.

“The real mystery is that if you took all the notebooks from the sailors used in making these charts, along with the coordinates and descriptions,” Hessler says, tapping the glass that covers the ancient vellum, “you still couldn’t make this map.”

Hessler, 49, is one of the world’s leading experts in trying to decode the mysteries of the maps, and presented some of his dazzlingly intricate research at a Friday conference at the library, “Re-Examining the Portolan Chart: History, Navigation and Science.”

Recently, there has been academic opposition to the idea that these charts were even made in medieval times. Quoting from the website of the University of Utrecht in an article titled Origin of the “mediaval” sea charts disproven:

Portolan charts, realistic sea charts of the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea that suddenly appeared at the end of the thirteenth century, cannot possibly have been created in Medieval Europe. This is demonstrated by research with which Roel Nicolai (Utrecht University)…

… Up till now, it has been assumed that these charts were created by medieval cartographers based on measurements of sailors. But the identity of the creators of these remarkably accurate charts remains a mystery to this day.

The oldest portolan chart in the world seemed to appear out of nowhere at the end of the thirteenth century, and there are no signs of the existence of any simpler, earlier versions. The fact that these charts are so incredibly accurate despite the limited knowledge and measurement instruments has long been seen as a fortunate coincidence. In his research, Nicolai proves that even with the most optimistic assumptions this is, in fact, impossible. “The remarkable thing about his research is that he has studied portolan charts using insights and methods from modern-day geodesy. The results are utterly surprising”, says his PhD supervisor, Professor Jan Hogendijk of Utrecht University.

So far, it has been assumed that sailors carefully recorded data about their courses and distances they travelled on busy shipping routes. It was believed that their measurements were compiled in so-called portolans, books with sailing instructions, and eventually processed by cartographers. Nicolai, however, has shown that it is unlikely that the nautical compass was available in time and that  navigational methods used at that time were sophisticated enough to determine distances at such a degree of accuracy.

Furthermore, using averages in calculations to increase the accuracy of measurements did not become common practice until the eighteenth century. A mathematical analysis of the oldest surviving portolan has revealed that its source data must have been derived from a portolan chart – instead of the other way around…

It therefore seems plausible that portolan charts originated from a tradition that is now lost. It is an intriguing question from what culture that tradition stemmed. 

It is therefore doubtful that the portolan charts just suddenly “sprang up” out of nowhere and without previous versions. If they were already this accurate in 1275, they must have been part of a lineage, a secret tradition of map making ranging back much further in time.

Evidence for this claim is found in the fact that, while they often even more accurate than modern maps, they also contained islands that no longer exist today. One of those was the Antilla Island:

antilla atlantis

The Encyclopedia says:

Antillia is a phantom island that was reputed, during the 15th-century age of exploration, to lie in the Atlantic Ocean, far to the west of Portugal and Spain. The island also went by the name of Isle of Seven Cities. It originates from an old Iberian legend…

…The island makes its first explicit appearance as a large rectangular island in the 1424 portolan chart of Zuane Pizzigano. Thereafter, it routinely appeared in most nautical charts of the 15th century. After 1492, when the north Atlantic Oceanbegan to be routinely sailed, and became more accurately mapped, depictions of Antillia gradually disappeared. It nonetheless lent its name to the Spanish Antilles…

One wonders just how old the source-maps for the portolan charts were that they showed islands that no longer existed when the Atlantic was traversed in the 15th Century.

Of course, those who have read my book on Atlantis also see another possibility here: The “seven cities” could be a reference to Atlantis, the word “Antilles” itself is similar to Atlantis and the Iberians were descendants of Atlantis.

The Piri Reis Map

piri reis map atlantis

The image above shows a now famous map, drawn in 1513 by Piri Reis, admiral of the Ottoman Fleet. It is one of the most rigorously studied maps of all time and has repeatedly been verified as authentic. Only the left third of the map remains, but this part shows parts of Europe, Africa, South America and North America. It also shows the Atlantic Ocean as well as the Antarctic coastline in detail.

The problem? Antarctica wasn’t “discovered” until 300 years later, in 1818.

The other problem? The map shows the coastline without the ice. According to geologists the last time the area was ice-free was approximately 6000 to 13 000 years ago.

It is already impressive enough that a relatively accurate map of North and South America would be drawn at such an early date, in 1513, only twenty years after Columbus first reached its coasts and that Latitude and Longitude would be correctly used. But that’s certainly the lesser mystery here. Fortunately the admiral left behind notes about where he got his knowledge. He claims to have compiled the map based on a collection of older maps, some of them a thousand years old and older. Among these there must have been information on an ice-free Antarctic.

Where might the map have originated? Ancients traditionally put the place where the map was being drawn at the center of the map. While only the left third of the map is left, one can determine the center with the help of the remaining compass rose. And interestingly, the maps center is in the region of Aswan, Egypt. So are we to assume there was a high culture in Aswan that was aware of the existence of the Antarctic in very ancient times? It`s not unlikely. As previously discussed, Aswan is the location of the largest Obelisk in the world. Whoever had the ability to build that thing may also have known what the world looked like.

The legend on the map says that several “maps from the days of Alexander” were used in compiling it. Alexander lived from 356 to 323 B.C. He is known for having conquered and ruled over one of the largest Empires in History. As such  he would have been one of the most informed men of his time. I gather that he didn’t achieve all of that without knowing a few secrets and picking up a few more on his many conquests.

That then solves the mystery for me.  Piri Reis simply used very ancient maps that are now lost. How else could he know what he knew? But it doesnt solve the mystery for modern Historians because it does not match their doctrine that the ancients knew nothing of the world beyond the oceans. But obviously they did! It only takes one white crow to prove that not all crows are black…

As explained in other writings, it is probable that the Antarctica was ice-free after the “great flood” that I claim happened 12 000 years ago. Hence my suspicion that Piri Reis got his information from very ancient sources that have been lost in time.

Piri Reis was not the only person to know of the Antarctica before it was “discovered”. This is a 1531 map by the cartographer Orontius Finaeus:

The Oronteus Finaeus Map of 1531

It roughly shows an accurate shape of the antarctica and contains surprising details such as mountains and rivers, many of them accurate as well. It also shows South America connected to the Continent – which is again something geologists claim may have been the case in prehistoric times.

Skeptics have attacked this map by saying that “the Antarctica is not accurately depicted!”

It is true that there are some inaccuracies. But my retort to this is: Even if there are errors in it, it is sufficient evidence that the Antarctica was known long before the year 1818. How do you explain that?

Maps of Chinese Mythology

ancient world map

ancient chinese anomalous maps

The two maps you see here are from the more extensive Hendon Harris map collection. These are mythological Chinese maps that were copied over the centuries.  They are based on the “Classics of the Mountains and the Seas”, which are accounts of fabled countries outside of China.

The map is grossly inaccurate but it does roughly show Africa, Europe, India, Australia and other countries. The area today known as North America is depicted as the legendary country of “Fu Sang”. The Cartography Department of the U.S. Library of Congress studied the maps for three years and concluded that the country names do originate from the “Classics of the Mountain and the Seas”. This would make the original maps about 4000 years old (2200 B.C.). Some of the map copies have been dated to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

Hendon Harris, the discoverer of the maps, believed that the ancient Chinese traveled to America long before Columbus “discovered” it. He notes that at the approximate location of the Grand Canyon the maps say there is a “Chasm of Bright Mountains”. At the approximate location of Mt. McKinley in Alaska, the maps say “Equal to Heaven Mountain”. He also notes that the monk Hui Shan who is said to have traveled to America in the 5th Century referred to the Yucatan Peninsula as “Head Decorated Country”, apparently seeing the headdress of the Mayans at that time. He also mentioned the “Womens Country” and “snake husbands” further north, apparently referring to the matrilineal Hopi tribes.

Here is a Washington Post article on this for those who want to know more.

The Seven Regions of Earth

A view of the world that predates the one shown above (on the Herodotus map) is that the world consisted of seven regions and seven seas. In some cultures this is extended to cosmology in that the universe consists of seven regions and the multi-verse consists of seven planes of existence. The most popular example of the seven-earth-regions is the “Babylonian World Map” of the late-Babylonian period:

atlantis maps

The Babylonian World Map is shows Babylon on the Euphrates river in the center. The countries within the circle include Assyria, Yemen (Habban), Armenia (Uratru) which are correctly placed in relation to Babylon. The circle around it is the “bitter river” (also called Oceanus by the ancients and “bitter” as in salty). Beyond the ocean we find seven “islands” or regions which are arranged as a seven-pointed star (as shown in my book “Atlantis and the Garden of Eden” the number seven was used in almost all mythological accounts that referred to Atlantis). The map is damaged and only five of the seven descriptions can be read.

babylonoan world map atlantis


Island one and two cannot be read.

For island three the inscription says “where winged bird ends not his flight”

At island four of the northwest it says “the light is brighter than that of sunset or stars”

At the upper right fifth island we find the far north “where one sees nothing” and “the sun is not visible”. Rather than being mythological gibberish, this quite accurately describes the light conditions of the arctic circle.

On island six the inscription says “there live horned bulls who attack newcomers”.

Island seven is “where the morning dawns”

Generally speaking, the late Babylonians seemed to be fairly clueless about any regions outside of their immediate vicinity. They based this map on earlier maps but appear to have mostly lost knowledge of the outer regions. It is however interesting to note that they did not consider the ocean “the end of the world” like some in the middle ages apparently did.

A more detailed idea of the “regions of the world” can be found in ancient Hinduism. This is a rendering of their oldest world maps, with their sacred Mount Meru at its center:

ancient world maps atlantis america

This map is both physical and cosmological (as above so below), showing regions of earth and regions of the Cosmos. Mount Meru plays a central role in Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism as the center of both Earth and the center of the physical Universe as well as the center of all spiritual Universes.

The geographical location of the physical version of Mount Meru is said by some scholars to be in the Pamir mountains just northwest of Kashmir. Some mythological sources say that Mount Meru lies at the center of Earth.Yet other sources say that it was “surrounded by Mandrachal Mountain to the east, Supasarv Mountain to the west, Kumuda Mountain to the north and Mount Kailash to the south”.

In his book “India once ruled the Americas”, researcher Gene Matlock makes the interesting observation that the ancient Hindus appear to have known and visited America. He notes, for example, that the eastern part of the Lotus Flower is called the region of “Cetumala”. If we look at the very center of the American continent, we find a place called “Chetumal” at Belize:

chetumal cetumala_edited

This is the wider area so that you see it’s central location:

cetumala chetumal

What is the statistical likelihood that, at the central point of Central America we find a place with the same name the ancient Hindus had for the area? (Not to mention the country Guatemala which also has a similar ring to Cetumala). If it were not for thousands of other matches between Mayan and  Hindu culture, as noted by the author cited above, by myself and by many other researchers, one could dismiss this as a coincidence. But rather than being a coincidence, its just the tip of the iceberg, in my view.

To me personally, none of this is a big deal. My research archives are full of evidence for pre-columbian trans-atlantic and trans-pacific contact. As far as I am concerned the Chinese, the Phoenicians, the Vikings and possibly even the Egyptians were in America long before Columbus was. It’s not that big of a surprise to have people, who have had many thousands of years of time, to have crossed the oceans. The commonly held idea that in ten thousand of years or more nobody was able to cross the Atlantic seems ridiculous to me. But that’s a topic for another article.