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The Legend on the Piri Reis Map

The Piri Reis Map, which is a genuine document, not a hoax of any kind, was made at Constantinople in 1513 CE. It focuses on the western coast of Africa, the eastern coast of South America, and the northern coast of Antarctica. Piri Reis could not have acquired his information on this latter region from contemporary explorers because Antarctica remained undiscovered until 1818 CE, more than 300 years after he drew the map. The ice-free coast of Queen Maud Land shown in the map is a colossal puzzle because the geological evidence confirms that the very latest date that it could have been surveyed and charted in an ice-free condition is 4000 BCE. It is not possible to pinpoint the earliest date that such a task could have been accomplished, but it seems that the Queen Maud Land littoral may have remained in a stable, unglaciated condition for at least 9,000 years before the spreading ice-cap swallowed it entirely. There is no civilization known to history that had the capacity or need to survey that coastline in the relevant period, i.e. between 13,000 BCE and 4000 BCE.

In other words, the true enigma of this 1513 map is not so much its inclusion of a continent that was not discovered until 1818 but rather its portrayal of part of the coastline of that continent under ice-free conditions that came to an end 6,000 years ago and that have not since recurred.

How can this be explained? Piri Reis obligingly gives us the answer in a series of notes written in his own hand on the map itself. Here he tells us that he was not responsible for the original surveying and cartography. On the contrary he honestly admits that his role was merely that of compiler and copyist and that his own map was derived from a large number of source maps. Some of these had been drawn by contemporary or near-contemporary explorers (including Christopher Columbus), who had by then reached South America and the Caribbean, but others were documents of great antiquity dating back to the fourth century BCE or earlier.

For more information on the Piri Reis click on the url Ancient sky map or fake?

Click above for the Piri Reis Map in color.

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