GeoCarta Has Moved

Jan 16, 2006

Did Chinese Discover America? No Says Professor

A map recently promoted as proof that Chinese sailor Zheng He discovered America during a voyage around the world in the early 1400s was likely made in the last 20 years, not in 1763, a Chinese historian stated today. Mao Peiqi, a professor of history professor at Renmin University, who has seen a copy of the map, told Interfax that he found clear errors which show the map maker didn't understand 18th century China. "The map is a fake and was made in the last 20 years," Mr. Peiqi stated at a press conference in Beijing on Monday.

As posted preciously, the map is claimed to be a 1763 copy of a map originally made in 1418. Samples of the map have been sent to the United Kingdom for carbon dating. However, the carbon dating will only show whether the map is a modern forgery. Even if the tests prove it was drawn around 1763, it could still be an antique fake.