1. ytellioglu:

    The Piri Reis map is a pre-modern world map compiled in 1513 from military intelligence by the Ottoman admiral and cartographer Piri Reis. The half of the map that survives shows the western coasts of Europe and North Africa and the coast of Brazil with reasonable accuracy. Various Atlantic islands including the Azores and Canary Islands are depicted, as is the mythical island of Antillia and possibly Japan. The historical importance of the map lies in its demonstration of the extent of exploration of the New World by approximately 1510, perhaps before others. It used 10 Arabian sources, 4 Indian maps sourced from Portuguese and one map of Columbus.

    The map is the extant western third of a world map drawn on gazelle skin, with dimensions reported as 90 cm × 63 cm, 86 cm × 60 cm, 90 cm × 65 cm,85 cm × 60 cm,87 cm × 63 cm, and 86 cm × 62 cm.These discrepancies are largely due to the damaged corner. The surviving portion primarily details the western coast of Africa and the eastern coast of South America. The map was signed by Piri Reis, an Ottoman-Turkish admiral, geographer and cartographer, and dated to the month of Muharram in the Islamic year 919 AH, equivalent to 1513 AD. It was presented to Ottoman Sultan Selim I in 1517. In the map’s legend, Piri inscribed that the map was based on about twenty charts and mappae mundi. According to Piri, these maps included eight Ptolemaic maps constructed during the era of Alexander the Great, an Arabic map of India, four newly drawn Portuguese maps from Sindh, Pakistan and a map by Christopher Columbus of the western lands. From Inscription 6 on the map:

    From eight Jaferyas of that kind and one Arabic map of Hind [India], and from four newly drawn Portuguese maps which show the countries of Sind [now in modern day Pakistan], Hind and Çin [China] geometrically drawn, and also from a map drawn by Qulūnbū [Columbus] in the western region, I have extracted it. By reducing all these maps to one scale this final form was arrived at, so that this map of these lands is regarded by seamen as accurate and as reliable as the accuracy and reliability of the Seven Seas on the aforesaid maps.”

    There is some scholarly debate over whether the 20 charts and mappae mundi in Piri’s inscriptions includes the eight Ptolemaic maps, the four Portuguese maps, the Arabic map and the Columbus map. From one perspective, the number of charts and mappae mundi used by Piri equals 20, while in the other, it could mean a total of 34.Some[who?] have claimed that the source maps were found in the ancient Library of Alexandria, based on Piri’s allusions to Alexander the Great, the founder of Alexandria, Ptolemy I, who ruled Alexandria in the 4th century BC, and Claudius Ptolemy, the Greek geographer and cartographer who lived in Alexandria during the second century AD.

    The map was discovered serendipitously on 9 October 1929, through the philological work of the German theologian, Gustav Adolf Deissmann (1866–1937). He had been commissioned by the Turkish Ministry of Education to catalogue the Topkapı Sarayı library’s non-Islamic items. At Deissmann’s request to search the palace for old maps and charts, the director Halil Edhem (1861–1938) managed to find some disregarded bundles of material, which he handed over to Deissmann. Realizing that the map might be a unique find, Deissmann showed it to the orientalist Paul Kahle who identified it as a map drawn by Piri Reis. The discovery caused an international sensation, as it represented the only then known copy of a world map of Christopher Columbus (1451–1506), and was the only 16th century map that showed South America in its proper longitudinal position in relation to Africa. Geographers had spent several centuries unsuccessfully searching for a “lost map of Columbus” that was supposedly drawn while he was in the West Indies.

    After reading about the map’s discovery in The Illustrated London News, United States Secretary of State Henry L. Stimson contacted the United States Ambassador to Turkey Charles H. Sherrill and requested that an investigation be launched to find the Columbus source map, which he believed may have been in Turkey. In turn, the Turkish government complied with Stimson’s request, but they were unsuccessful in locating any of the source maps.

    The Piri Reis map is currently located in the Library of the Topkapı Palace in Istanbul, Turkey, but is not usually on display to the public.

    Part of the Piri Reis map showing Europe and the Mediterranean Basin.
    Charles Hapgood

    Charles Hapgood began studying the map in the middle of the 20th century and published the book Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings in 1966.

    Hapgood claims this and other maps support a theory of global exploration by a pre-classical undiscovered civilization. He supports this with an analysis of the mathematics of ancient maps and of their accuracy, which he says surpassed instrumentation available at the time of the map’s drafting.

    Hapgood argued that owing to the map being assembled from components, the Caribbean section was rotated nearly 90° from the top of South America. He attributed this to either copying from a polar projection, or to fit in the space available by hinging the map at that location and giving it an “alternate north”, of which other examples are known in maps of the era.
    Gregory McIntosh

    Gregory McIntosh, a historian of cartography, has examined the Piri Reis map in depth and published his research in the book The Piri Reis Map of 1513 (Athens and London: University of Georgia Press, 2000).

    He claims that the depiction of the Caribbean was developed from at least one of Columbus’s maps. Hispaniola is depicted with a north-south axis similar to depictions of Japan on maps of the same era. At the time it was widely believed that the east coast of the Americas was in fact that of Asia. Columbus believed that Japan and Hispaniola were actually the same island and Cuba was part of a mainland. The mainland in the extreme northwest is labeled with place-names from Columbus’s voyages along the coasts of Cuba. McIntosh claims the map shows double sets of Virgin Islands because Piri Reis took them from two maps. Many of the names of ports and geographic points are found in Columbus’s written texts.

    McIntosh, in comparing the Piri Reis map to several other portolan-style maps of the era, found that

    The Piri Reis map is not the most accurate map of the sixteenth century, as has been claimed, there being many, many world maps produced in the remaining eighty-seven years of that century that far surpass it in accuracy. The Ribero maps of the 1520s and 1530s, the Ortelius map of 1570, and the Wright-Molyneux map of 1599 (‘the best map of the sixteenth century’) are only a few better-known examples.

    McIntosh intended for this conclusion to be part of a direct challenge to Charles Hapgood’s theory about the historical roots of the map. McIntosh found that many of Hapgood’s claims were problematic and that, in many cases, the accuracy of the map as Hapgood presents it is exaggerated and that some figures, such as Cuba, Hispaniola, part of Newfoundland, and others have to be rotated or distorted to appear accurately drawn.
    Gavin Menzies
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    Amateur historian Gavin Menzies claims in his book 1421: The Year China Discovered America that the southern landmass is indeed the Antarctic coastline and was based on earlier Chinese maps. According to Menzies, Admiral Hong Bao charted the coast over 70 years before Columbus as part of a larger expedition under the famous Chinese explorer and admiral Zheng He to bring the world under China’s tribute system.

    Gregory McIntosh and other cartographers and historians who have examined the map in detail believe the resemblance of the coastline to the actual coast of Antarctica to be tenuous. For centuries before the actual discovery of Antarctica, cartographers had been depicting a massive southern landmass on global maps based on the theoretical assumption by some that one must exist, if only to balance the landmass of the North. It was widely believed that South America and, once its northern coastline was discovered, Australia, must be joined to this land mass, which was thought to be very much bigger than the real Antarctica. This theoretical southern continent, the Great Southern Land or Terra Australis Incognita (literally Unknown Southern Land), in various configurations, was usually shown on maps until the eighteenth century. An alternate view is that the “Antarctic” coast is simply the eastern coastline of South America skewed to align east-west due to the inaccurate measurement of longitude or to fit it on the page.

    Hapgood suggests that the Antarctic section of the map was copied at an incorrect scale to the rest of the map and resulted in the distortion and enlargement of the continent on several ancient maps. This would explain why there is no waterway between South America and Antarctica. He suggests several points of continuity between the Piri Reis Map and modern maps of the continent below the ice sheets. Since the Antarctic continent was not officially sighted until 1820 and its full coastline was not known until much later; this claim, if true, would require major revisions to the history of exploration, settlement, evolution, and technological advancements of the time.
    Comparison between a modern projection of South America and Piri Reis’s version.

    There are many difficulties in the map of South America, including duplication of rivers. Close examination of the coastline supports the alternative theory that the “extra” landmass is simply the South American coast, probably explored in secret by Portuguese navigators, and bent round to fit the parchment. There are features resembling the basins at the mouth of the Strait of Magellan, and the Falkland Islands.


  2. Oblivion Official Trailer

    The Bible says that the firsts humans was a couple, Adam and Eva. But we have many first couples, many Adams and Evas.


  3. The Kingdom of Mapungubwe (1075–1220) was a pre-colonial state in Southern Africa located at the confluence of the Shasheand Limpopo rivers (22°2′S 29°36′E), south of Great Zimbabwe.[1] The kingdom was the first stage in a development that would culminate in the creation of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe in the 13th century,[2] and with gold trading links to Rhapta and Kilwa Kisiwani on the African east coast.

    The largest settlement from what has been dubbed the Leopard’s Kopje culture, is known as K2 culture and was the immediate predecessor to the settlement of Mapungubwe.[3] The people from K2 culture, probably derived from the ancestral Khoi culture, were attracted to the Shashi-Limpopo area, likely because it provided mixed agricultural possibilities.[4] The area was also prime elephant country, providing access to valuable ivory. The control of the gold and ivory trade greatly increased the political power of the K2 culture.[5] By 1075, the population of K2 had outgrown the area and relocated to Mapungubwe Hill.[6]

    he capital of the kingdom was called Mapungubwe, which is where the kingdom gets its name.[6] The site of the city is now a World Heritage SiteSouth African National Heritage Site,[8] national park, and archaeological site. There is controversy regarding the origin and meaning of the name Mapungubwe. Conventional wisdom has it that Mapungubwe means “place of Jackals,” or alternatively, “place where Jackals eat” or, according to Fouche’—one of the earliest excavators of Mapungubwe—“hill of the jackals” (Fouche’, 1937 p. 1).

    This origin of the word is supposedly derived from the Venda language word for jackal (i.e. Phunguhwe) or alternatively, the Tsonga word for the same animal (i.e. Phukubje). On the other hand, others have proposed that name means “hill or place of stones/boulders/rocks”. This later version appears a lot closer to the meaning of the word, since Mapungubwe actually mean “place of boiling or simmering stones/rocks/boulders”. The word is derived from the root morpheme Pungu (Venda language for boiling or simmering), and the suffix morpheme bwe (Venda language for rocks/stones/boulders). Other Venda morphemes denoting rocks/boulders/stones are he and gwe; e.g. Dzingahe (“place of black boulders/rocks/stones”), Mahematshena (“place of white boulders/stones/rocks”) and Mavhiligwe. Interestingly, the morphemes denoting rocks are common among Bantu language words, such as we (Kiswahili), bye (Tsonga), tye (Zulu/Xhosa), bwe (Karanga), and at times displaying striking phoneme variations, e.g. Mawe(Swahili for rocks/stones/boulders) versus Mabwe (Karanga for rocks/stones) and Mabje (Tsonga for stones/rocks/boulders). Indeed, the Republic of Zimbabwe derives its name from the famous Great Zimbabwe monuments whose name is derived from the Karanga word Dzimba dzamabwe, which means houses of stones.

    Incidentally, Mapungubwe is also referred to as Tshavhadzimu which means “place of the gods” or a “revered place”. The Venda area is still dotted with similar Vhangona revered places such as Zwitaka (sacred groves), Zwifho (sacred places), and Zwiawelo (sacred resting places), which are as revered today as they have always been. Some examples of the Zwitaka and Zwifho can be found along the Sibasa – Wyliespoort Road (R525) (e.g. Tshitaka Tsha Mungadi or “the sacred grove of Mungadi” at Ngovhela village, andTshitaka Tsha Vhutanda – “sacred grove of the Vhutanda”) or along the Punda Maria – Louis Trichardt road (R524) (e.g. Tshitaka Tsha Khwevhascared groove of Khwevha), while Lake Fundudzi, Guvhukuvhu la Phiphidi (Phiphidi waterfalls on the Mutshindudi river at Phiphidi), and Tivha la Tshiswavhathu (pool where human remains are cremated), which is also on the Mutshindudi river at Mukula Village, are just but some of the examples of the numerous Zwifho still to be found in Venda. These Zwitaka (sacred groves), respectively, belong to the Nemungadi, Nevhutanda and Nekhwevha Ngona clans, while the Zwifho, respectively, belong to the Netshiavha (Lake Fundudzi) and the Mamphwe (Tivha la Tshiswavhathu) families. Interesting is that the Khoi word for the place was never considered, probably because the language died out and the Khoi were displaced be the Bantus hundreds of years ago.

    This reverence probably explains (as will be seen later) why the natives residing around the Mapungubwe hill area were reluctant to disclose or share with strangers (or anyone else for that matter), anything related to its whereabouts. Indeed, such reverence largely explains why Mapungubwe hill remained untouched, especially by the natives throughout all those centuries after its abandonment.


  4. The Kingdom of Zimbabwe (1220–1450) was a kingdom located in the territory of modern-day Zimbabwe. It is famous for its capital, Great Zimbabwe, the largest stone structure in southern Africa until recent times.[when?]

    The creators of the Zimbabwe kingdom immigrated to the Zimbabwe plateau from the Kingdom of Mapungubwe in southern Africa in the early 13th century

    The rulers of Zimbabwe brought artistic and stonemasonry traditions from Mapungubwe. The construction of elaborate Stone buildings and walls reached its apex in the kingdom. The institution of mambo was also used at Zimbabwe, along with an increasingly rigid three-tiered class structure. The kingdom taxed other rulers throughout the region. The kingdom was composed of over 150 tributaries headquartered in their own minor zimbabwes.[1] They established rule over a wider area than MapungubweButua or Mutapa.

    The end of the kingdom resulted in a fragmenting of proto-Shona power. Two bases emerged along a north-south axis. In the north, the kingdom of Mutapa carried on and even improved upon Zimbabwe’s administrative structure. It did not carry on the stonemasonry tradition to the extent of its predecessor. In the south, the Kingdom of Butua was established as a smaller but nearly identical version of Zimbabwe. Both states were eventually absorbed into the largest and most powerful of the Kalanga states, the Rozwi Empire.


  5. Zimbabwe’s billion dollar gold-mining industry is crucial for the country’s struggling economy but, traditionally, more than half the country’s population has been excluded from taking part. But now Zimbabwean women are breaking barriers to share in the wealth, following in the steps on one extraordinary entrepreneur.


  6. Kingdoms of Africa Great Zimbabwe


  7. peashooter85:

    Africa’s Lost City —- The Ruins of Great Zimbabwe,

    Built around the 11th century, the Ruins of Great Zimbabwe are located near Lake Mutirikwe in what in now the nation of Zimbabwe.  Spanning over 1,780 acres, Great Zimbabwe was perhaps the largest city south of the Sahara desert.  After conducting studies of the area scholars estimate that at its height Great Zimbabwe would have been home to around 10,000 to 20,000 people.  The city takes the name “Great” Zimbabwe because it largest of 200 other communities (zimbabwes) that made up what was once the Kingdom of Zimbabwe.  Being the largest city it is thought that Great Zimbabwe served as capital of the kingdom and home to its monarchs.

    Today what remains of the city is a large stone and brick fortress called the “Great Enclosure which served as a palace, temple complex, and city center.  The structure features two walls, an inner wall and outer wall with balconies to man guards.  Between the two walls stands a large 30 foot high watchtower.  Inside the Great Enclosure were a number of buildings that are theorized to make up either a temple complex or palace.  Beyond the Great Enclosure the area is dotted and crisscrossed with the foundations of walls and buildings, mostly made from stone and brick.  

    More amazing than the Great Enclosure and surrounding buildings, a number of archaeological artifacts shed insight into the lives of the people who live at Great Zimbabwe.  A very complex society, the people of Great Zimbabwe had a number of skilled artisans who crafted goods from wood, soapstone, ivory, leather, and pottery. 


    Even more amazing was their complex knowledge of metallurgy.  While they crafted goods out of soft metals such as copper and gold, they also were able to create bronze and were even crafting tools and weapons from iron.

    Other archaeological discoveries reveal that Great Zimbabwe was not an isolated city or kingdom in Southern Africa, but was a major center of trade with contacts all over the known world.  Among the most incredible discoveries revealing their commercial influence are coins from Arabia, glassware from Persia, and porcelain from China.  A monumental granite cross, located at a traditionally revered and sacred spiritual site suggests they may have also had contact with Christian missionaries, most likely from Ethiopia.

    By the mid 15th century Great Zimbabwe was abandoned as food resources in the surrounding countryside could not sustain the city’s population.  Evidence also suggests that the area suffered from acute deforestation.  Today Great Zimbabwe is a National Monuments and UN World Heritage Site.

    (Source: whc.unesco.org, via acidadenegra)


  8. acidadenegra:

    Great Zimbabwe

    (Source: nativethoughts)


  9. ziggurating:

    Great Zimbabwe is a ruined city that was once the capital of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe, which existed from approximately 1100 to 1400 during the country’s Late Iron Age. The monument, which first began to be constructed in the 11th century and which continued to be built until the 14th century, spanned an area of 722 hectares (1,784 acres) and at its peak could have housed up to 18,000 people. Great Zimbabwe acted as a royal palace for the Zimbabwean monarch and would have been used as the seat of their political power. One of its most prominent features were its walls, some of which were over five metres high and which were constructed without mortar. Eventually the city was largely abandoned and fell into ruin.

    The ruins were first encountered by Europeans in the late 19th century with investigation of the site starting in 1871. The monument caused great controversy amongst the archaeological world, with political pressure being put upon archaeologists by the government of Rhodesia to deny its African origins. Great Zimbabwe has since been adopted as a national monument by the Zimbabwean government, with the modern state being named after it. The word “Great” distinguishes the site from the many hundreds of small ruins, known as Zimbabwes, spread across the Zimbabwe Highveld.


    (via acidadenegra)


  10. africanspot:

    Way Out by ~ThirdCultureKidAdele

    A Part of the Great Zimbabwe in Masvingo, Zimbabwe

    (via acidadenegra)