Circumnavigation of Africa

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May 7th, 2017 at 2:11:12 PM permalink
Pacomartin
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Bartolomeu Dias, a nobleman of the Portuguese royal household, was the first known person to circumnavigate Africa and reached the Indian Ocean by 1498.

But Herodotus lived in the fifth century BC (c. 484–c. 425 BC),and is consider the father of history. Herodotus passes on reports from Phoenician sailors that, while circumnavigating Africa, they "saw the sun on the right side while sailing westwards". Owing to this brief mention, which is included almost as an afterthought, it has been argued that Africa was indeed circumnavigated by ancient seafarers, for this is precisely where the sun ought to have been. His accounts of India are among the oldest records of Indian civilization by an outsider.

Could we be wrong by this date by 2000 years?
May 7th, 2017 at 2:24:31 PM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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Quote: Pacomartin


Could we be wrong by this date by 2000 years?


All I remember is that in school we learned that Columbus dismissed the idea of going around Africa as too dangerous to sail. Had it been done I think a route would have lasted what with the danger of going thru the muslim areas overland, where heavy tolls were extracted and was the reason for the Columbus voyage in the first place.
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May 7th, 2017 at 3:56:33 PM permalink
Fleastiff
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Anciet seafarers, both coast huggers and blue water types, undoubtedly accomplished such feats. Overland travel was dangerous and costly. Spices were often described by Arab merchants as being even more distant than they actually were. Too many advances were made in Arabia for there to be a dearth of adventurous sailors. The Minoans and Romans navigated by the Sun when able, but the Arabs used the moon and stars. The Arabs had 'wandering scholars' who would be well received by wealthy merchants and would impart, and gain, knowledge. Its simply too unwise to assume that they were cowardly coast huggers who would risk pirates rather than the open seas. Winter, not summer, is the time to round the tip of Africa, so some ships may have been unlucky but life was dangerous in those days. Ships had to be crewed by large numbers of warriors, merchants traveled in caravans.
May 7th, 2017 at 7:40:39 PM permalink
Pacomartin
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Quote: AZDuffman
All I remember is that in school we learned that Columbus dismissed the idea of going around Africa as too dangerous to sail. Had it been done I think a route would have lasted what with the danger of going thru the muslim areas overland, where heavy tolls were extracted and was the reason for the Columbus voyage in the first place.


In 1485 and 1488 Columbus presented his plans to King John II of Portugal. His proposal was rejected (the second time) because Diaz returned from the southern tip of Africa.

Diaz sailed 500 miles past present day Cape Town, South Africa in March of 1488 where he built a cross. He would have sailed all the way to India, but his crew threatened mutiny. The voyage led Ferdinand of Spain to realize that he had to take a bold risk as the Portuguese were soon going to control the only maritime route to Asia. After 1492 he fought the final war with Granada which expunged the last Islamic state on Iberian soil. At this time he backed Columbus's first voyage.

In 1497 Vasco de Gama actually sailed all the way to India via Africa. His voyage corresponded with CC third voyage to the New World which left on 30 May 1498. In 1499 Amerigo Vespucci would travel to South America and began to realize that they were not in Asia at all. As Columbus died still claiming he had reached Asia, Amerigo's name with the Latin spelling, America, eventually became the name of the new world.

Vasco de Gama's route from 1497 to 1499.
May 7th, 2017 at 7:58:49 PM permalink
Wizard
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When I was in elementary school it was taught that Columbus was the first European to discover the Americas. Can it be presumed as pretty much fact that the Vikings beat him by about 500 years? I've seen documentaries on this and remnants of Viking villages can be found in places along Canada's east coast.

Much like the Lost Colony of Roanoke, you wonder what happened to them.

Regarding Africa, I have nothing to add. What did they do at the present day Suez Canal?

And is this city "Punt" anywhere near, "Go for the fourth down?"
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May 7th, 2017 at 8:01:32 PM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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Quote: Wizard
When I was in elementary school it was taught that Columbus was the first European to discover the Americas. Can it be presumed as pretty much fact that the Vikings beat him by about 500 years? I've seen documentaries on this and remnants of Viking villages can be found in places along Canada's east coast.

Much like the Lost Colony of Roanoke, you wonder what happened to them.

Regarding Africa, I have nothing to add. What did they do at the present day Suez Canal?


I'm about five years younger than you and learned Vikings beat him. CC gets credit because he opened the new world for good imho.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
May 7th, 2017 at 8:07:10 PM permalink
Pacomartin
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Quote: Wizard
When I was in elementary school it was taught that Columbus was the first European to discover the Americas. Can it be presumed as pretty much fact that the Vikings beat him by about 500 years? I've seen documentaries on this and remnants of Viking villages can be found in places along Canada's east coast.


The only confirmed Viking site in the New World is L’Anse aux Meadows, a thousand-year-old way station discovered in 1960 on the northern tip of Newfoundland. It was a temporary settlement, abandoned after just a few years, and archaeologists have spent the past half-century searching for elusive signs of other Norse expeditions.

Only within the last few years is evidence of a permanent settlement at Point Rosee are being discovered. The excavations are indicative of Vikings, but the possibility of native Americans building the site have not been ruled out.



Most of my friends believe that the Basque whalers were sailing in Canadian waters before Columbus, but they didn't want competition.

Quote: AZDuffman
CC gets credit because he opened the new world for good imho.


The voyage that changed the world forever, was CC's second voyage the following year with 17 ships and animals.
May 8th, 2017 at 3:21:15 AM permalink
odiousgambit
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Recent news has evidence of humans in the Americas 130,000 years ago [on the west coast], a conclusion without human remains to back it up.

One problem with that is the belief that Homo Sapiens was restricted to Africa at that time, or had just begun to leave it. This would mean Homo Erectus left the evidence, or that modern human migration theory is flawed. The dating method is controversial.

As for my pondering, I'd say this one needs more proof, but I think we need to be less surprised at the idea that such things will be found near the ocean. You have to assume that family-less explorers lead the way, and that early families are fragile too.

As for the 130,000 years ago thing, they seem to be discounting Bigfoot as an explanation!

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/04/new-study-puts-humans-in-america-100000-years-earlier-than-expected/524301/
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May 8th, 2017 at 5:45:14 AM permalink
Pacomartin
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Quote: odiousgambit
Recent news has evidence of humans in the Americas 130,000 years ago [on the west coast], a conclusion without human remains to back it up.


As I understand it, ice sheets basically prevented crossing the land over Bering Strait more than 21K years before present, and the opening of the Bering Strait to the sea occurred more roughly 11K years before present. Inside that 10K years there were some sweet spots when it was much easier to cross.

Firm evidence of humans in the Americas outside of this time window would basically put the whole concept of immigration from Asia into question. As 130K years before present is close to the time of the appearance of genetically modern humans, that would almost certainly imply simultaneous evolution.

This claim must be met with extreme skepticism.
May 8th, 2017 at 6:31:21 AM permalink
Nareed
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Quote: Wizard
And is this city "Punt" anywhere near, "Go for the fourth down?"


Punt (pronounced "poont") is a region of historical significance to ancient Egypt. It was to the Egyptians what Asia was to the Europeans in the 15th Century, a source of highly valued, exotic goods.

The thing is the Egyptians didn't leave any records behind saying exactly where it was.

You can judge how important it was, by the fact that Hatshepsut, the first Egyptian woman to rule Egypt as Pharaoh, sent a trading expedition there to gain popularity for her rule. She also saw fit to record this in various temples.
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