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PIRI REIS AND THE HAPGOOD HYPOTHESIS

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Author Topic: PIRI REIS AND THE HAPGOOD HYPOTHESIS  (Read 5855 times)
Bianca
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« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2007, 07:10:40 am »








These hypotheses, obviously, were revolutionary and some reviews of Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings were, predictably, skeptical in tone. Yet one American reviewer called it a "seminal book," an English reviewer called it "provocative" and Kenneth R. Stunkel, who challenged the conclusions in Britain's Geographical Review, admitted that Hapgood's work on ancient maps was "... a model of thoroughness and meticulous engagement with a complex and elusive subject." Furthermore, Hapgood, before publishing his book, had submitted it to John K. Wright, director of the American Geographical Society for 11 years. Wright - a geographer and cartographer - said that Hapgood "posed hypotheses that cry aloud for further testing."


Unfortunately, from Hapgood's point of view, his theories were not tested. Most scholars, in fact, seem to have ignored them. As noted, there is relatively little - with the exception of Paul Kahle's book -written on the Piri Reis maps by scholars. This may be because Hapgood himself, quoting Thomas Edison, had said that some problems are too difficult for specialists and must be left to amateurs - and most scientists took him at his word. They largely ignored him.


This was not entirely unexpected. As writer J. Enterline put it, in discussing the response of science to the Hapgood hypotheses, acceptance "engendered the necessity of so many accessory explanations, rationalizations and postulates that it became untenable." But their basis for rejecting it, said Enterline -who was also skeptical - was not because of any demonstrated counter proof but because it seemed to violate common sense and probability - which, he added, is also true of modern physics.
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« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2007, 07:12:14 am »








To put it another away, Hapgood's work simply cannot be lumped with the lunatic fringe and he certainly cannot be held responsible for the Chariots - level offshoots that fed on his research. Although unquestionably an amateur theoretician, he did do his homework and had it thoroughly checked by professionals. The U.S. Air Force SAC cartographers, for example, worked with him for two years and fully endorsed his conclusions about Antarctica.


Nonetheless, there are serious weaknesses in Hapgood's case. For one thing, Hapgood's theses depend entirely on mathematical projections and logic. While he admittedly reasons carefully from observation to conclusion - and had his calculations done by an M.I.T mathematician - he obviously cannot produce any of the "advanced" maps or display a single artifact from the "lost" civilization that supposedly mapped the Americas and Antarctica. For another, he may not have accorded enough importance, at least in the Caribbean portions of the Piri Reis map, to the Christopher Columbus map - as a close examination of the Piri Reis map may show (see pages 22-23). Lastly, he was led by his own logic into postulating an ice-free Antarctic - which conflicts totally with accepted geological theory that says the Antarctic ice cap has been in place for 50 million years.


There are other arguments too. One is that many place names on the map, written in the Turco-Arabic script, are clearly transliterations of Portuguese and Spanish. If, as the Hapgood hypotheses suggest, Piri Reis used maps drawn by ancient cartographers, why don't the place names at least reflect their language?
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« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2007, 07:13:32 am »








The most compelling arguments against the Hapgood hypotheses, however, concern the Andes and - above all - Antarctica, both vital to Hapgood's conclusions. Is the chain of mountains to the left of the map really the Andes? Is the coastline at the bottom really Antarctica? Are there any mountains shown there? And is Antarctica free of ice?


A cursory examination would certainly suggest that the mountains are the Andes; they are the most striking topographical feature on the map. But beside the mountains there is an inscription (see pages 24-25) that doesn't quite fit into Hapgood's scenario. It reads: "In the mountains of this territory were creatures like this, and human beings came out on the seacoast..."


Assuming the inscription refers to the eastern coast, this means that's to come out on the seacoast," those "human beings" would have had to walk all the way from, say, Peru, rather than from one of the ranges near the Brazilian coast. And as to the llama, is it really a llama? The animal shown on the map definitely has horns and the llama definitely does not (see page 19).


The reference, of course, might have been to the Pacific coast. But that also poses an awkward problem - as a look at the map suggests. Hapgood assumed that the western base of the mountain chain coincided with the Pacific coast of South America. If so, Hapgood is correct that the west coast, the Pacific and the Andes must have been known before Balboa and Magellan. And thus those "human beings" could have come down from the Andes.
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« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2007, 07:14:47 am »








Unfortunately the heavy black line to the south of the mountains and the reddish line at the base of the mountains probably do not indicate the west coast. For one thing, the long inscription (see pages 24-25) covers terra incognita  - "unknown land" - and for another, neither the Pacific Ocean nor the Strait of Magellan are shown. Is it reasonable to suppose that the advanced mariners of ancient times could locate the Andes and miss the Pacific Ocean?


A similar argument applies to the section of coast which by rights should correspond with the Isthmus of Panama, Central America, the Gulf of Mexico and Florida. Even allowing for the necessary distortions that Hapgood's "equidistant projection" would entail, this section of coast bears only the most tenuous relationship to reality-and raises still another doubt. Would Hapgood's hypothetical, highly advanced civilization - capable of sailing to the New World and mapping it - have done such an incredibly bad job? (See pages 22-23.)


The same question applies to the coast of South America where - as Hapgood admits - his advanced cartographers lost 900 miles of coastline. As a look at the map will show, the coast, below the Rio de la Plata, simply turns east and becomes, according to Hapgood, Antarctica.
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« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2007, 07:16:08 am »








This part of the Antarctica hypothesis - the key part - is actually the weakest. First, the hypothetical cartographers left out the Strait of Magellan and Cape Horn. Next, they connected the coastline of "Antarctica" to South America and extended it eastward.


There is, admittedly, a resemblance between the Piri Reis "Antarctic" coast and modern maps of the area. But the resemblance is slight. Indeed if this section of the map were to run vertically—that is, to the south - it would bear a much closer resemblance to the east coast of South America and could thus restore some of the missing 900 miles (see page 21).


This is by no means impossible: some of the more distinctive coastal features of the Piri Reis'"Antarctica" do jibe remarkably well with those on a modern map of South America (see page 21). But if it were true, "Antarctica" would not be Antarctica after all; it would be South America - which, of course, was never covered with ice - and the animals drawn on the map would not be in an ice-free Antarctica, but in South America. Last - and a key point - the famous "mountains" in Antarctica that so excited Mallery and Hapgood, and were presumably "clearly indicated," appear as islands, not mountains.


On the other hand...
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« Reply #20 on: July 11, 2007, 07:17:29 am »








On the other hand, some of the objections are themselves open to debate and Hapgood himself anticipated and answered many of them.


To start with, Hapgood and his advocates knew full well that to suggest a "lost world," with its echoes of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and subsequent science-fiction elaborations, might well evoke merciless public scorn from scholars and scientists - as the writings of the late Immanuel Velikovsky had in the 1950's and as Chariots of the Gods did in 1968. The existence of this "lost civilization," after all could only be inferred; there were no artifacts.


Hapgood, therefore, pointed out in Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings that civilizations have vanished before. No one knew where Sumer, Akkad, Nineveh and Babylon were until 19th-century archeologists dug them up. And as late as 1970 - only 10 years ago - no one even suspected the existence of a civilization called Ebla (See Aramco World, March -April l978). It had existed. It was real. But it vanished without a trace. Why then, argue Hapgood advocates, couldn't there have been other civilizations that vanished?


The same is true of Hapgood's unspecified advanced technology. Greek fire - something like napalm - was developed in the ninth century but its composition has never been duplicated. Arab scientists of the Golden Age were able to perform delicate eye surgery - using advanced instruments - but these skills were later lost. And in 1900, according to Scientific American, archeologists discovered an astoundingly advanced gearing system in a Greek navigational instrument. It dated back to 65 B.C. and its existence had never been suspected.
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« Reply #21 on: July 11, 2007, 07:19:30 am »








Hapgood addressed more specific criticisms too. He had not overlooked the fact that on the map the Andes seemed to be in the center of South America, nor ignored the possibility that, maybe, they were mountains on the east coast drawn out of proportion, or drawn on the basis of information, rather than observation - or even drawn in to account for the great rivers emptying into the sea. And his answer is persuasive: could Piri Reis, entirely by chance, have placed a range of enormous mountains in approximately the same place where there is a range of enormous mountains? Furthermore, there is the notation on the Piri Reis map: "The gold mines are endless." Doesn't this suggest Peru, which is rich in gold?


With regard to Antarctica, there is also the inscription on "Antarctica" describing nights "two hours" long (see pages 28-29) -which does suggest Antarctic latitudes.


There is, moreover, the perplexing problem of the Oronteus Finaeus map. Even if Piri Reis "Antarctica" turns out to be South America - drawn horizontally - or even Australia, the Finnaeus "Antarctica" is surely Antarctica and his map was also drawn in the 16th century: 1531. Where did Oronteus Finaeus get his far more detailed and accurate information? And why does Finaeus also show Antarctica without an ice cap?


Furthermore, the Hapgood team identified 50 geographical points on the Finaeus map, as re-projected, whose latitudes and longitudes were located quite accurately in latitude and longitude, some of them quite close to the pole. "The mathematical probability against this being accidental," says Hapgood, "is astronomical".
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« Reply #22 on: July 11, 2007, 07:20:59 am »








There are other factors too. The cartography of the Age of Discovery, for instance, often seems to have been independent of the voyages themselves; that is, certain early maps of America contain features before their supposed date of discovery.


The most notable example of this is the map of America made by Glareanus, a famous Swiss poet, mathematician and theoretical geographer, in the year 1510. This map, which was probably based on the 1504 de Canerio map, clearly shows the west coast of America 12 years before Magellan passed through the strait that bears his name. In other words, Piri Reis was not the only one to include anachronous information.


The map of Glareanus, furthermore, was reproduced in Johannes de Stobnicza's famous 1512 Cracow edition of Ptolemy and is unquestionably similar to the map of Piri Reis. Did Piri Reis have a copy of this early printed edition of Ptolemy before him when he drew his map? Is this what Piri Reis meant by "maps drawn in the time of Alexander the Great"?


Again, this is plausible, since to the Arabs - and later the Ottomans - the second century (A.D.)geographer Ptolemy was often confused with the earlier General Ptolemy-Alexander's general, Ptolemy I, who became king in Egypt in the fourth century B.C. and was an ancestor of Cleopatra. Still, where did de Canerio and Glareanus get their information?
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« Reply #23 on: July 11, 2007, 07:22:13 am »








The subject of the Piri Reis map, obviously, is enormously complex - as well as a great deal of fun. It involves Christopher Columbus, his sources of information, his conclusions and even his motives. It involves two Ottoman naval captains and 20 unknown or vaguely identified maps. It involves the portolano charts that seem to be based on a single lost source, the Zeno map - with an ice-free Greenland - and the Finaeus map, possibly the most inexplicable of all. It involves, in sum, questions that are not only fascinating but, so far, unanswered - except by Charles Hapgood.


The Hapgood hypotheses, therefore, cannot be j ust dismissed - if only because it is indisputable tha t famous maps known to have existed have been lost. None of the maps from the classical world, in fact, have survived. The maps accompanying Ptolemy's great work on geography, for example, were quickly lost and the earliest maps based upon his text were drawn 1,000 years after he wrote. Marinus of Tyre, a precursor of Ptolemy, is a shadowy figure whose works have perished. And the great library at Alexandria, the chief depository of classical learning, was repeatedly destroyed.


It is reliably reported by an Arab author, moreover, that a globe of the world by Ptolemy - the geographer - existed in Cairo in the 14th century. Arabic literature contains numerous tantalizing mentions of "lost maps." The 10th century author Ibn Nadim, for example, speaks of a Persian map of the world drawn on silk in colored paints - conceivably a copy of a classical map, but in any case lost to history.
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« Reply #24 on: July 11, 2007, 07:29:55 am »

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« Reply #25 on: July 11, 2007, 07:31:28 am »








As maps by their nature are perishable - even maps by such well-known and relatively recent cartographers as Mercator are extremely rare—is it so improbable that Hapgood's mysterious maps did exist and did vanish?


Admittedly, the answer of many cartographers and historians would be, yes it is improbable. The Hapgood hypotheses, after all, challenge basic and long-standing historical and geological premises. But Hapgood, now retired and living in Florida, remains confident that his theories will be accepted eventually. "After all," he said, "they haven't even been examined yet."


Hapgood, furthermore, is still working on his hypotheses. Last year he finished revisions of both books and one of them, Sea Kings, was published by E. P. Dutton & Company, New York and by Turnstone Books, London, in October. The other will be published this year. Beyond that, however, he has no plans to fight for either attention or acceptance. "I will not wear myself out trying to persuade people with pre-fixed ideas. My books speak for themselves and someday, I think, they will be acknowledged."


It is unlikely, of course, that such acknowledgment will be forthcoming soon, if ever; as the supplementary articles on pages 22 and 28 suggest, there could be other explanations. Furthermore, the work of an obscure 16th-century Ottoman admiral does not command a high priority on science's crowded calendars.
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« Reply #26 on: July 11, 2007, 07:32:36 am »








But it is not impossible either. Increasingly, scientific writers and critics are beginning to re-examine some of the traditional premises and several, as recently as last year, have openly objected to the kind of cool dismissal that the Hapgood theories received on publication. In the magazine New Scientist, for example, several articles in 1979 focused on what they call "deviant science" and one critic said that it is from deviant science "that seminal ideas sometimes arise, later to be accepted as scientific orthodoxy" One example is the highly controversial Velikovsky - who died just two months ago. In addition to other, admittedly fanciful theories, Velikovsky hypothesized that Venus and Mars had once disturbed the rotation of the earth on its axis; he was not only belittled but threatened. Yet, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, space probes have subsequently verified some details of his theory.


Verification of the Hapgood hypotheses of course, would require highly persuasive evidence. As a New Scientist writer quoted, "extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof," and in the case of Professor Hapgood that means location of the "lost" civilization or least one of the "advanced" source maps presumably used by Piri Reis.


But this, says Hapgood, is not impossible. Somewhere, he thinks, those source maps exist: hidden, perhaps, amid the massive collections of documents crammed into museums and archives in Istanbul, many still unexamined. No search for the source maps has ever been made, Hapgood says, but when there is "the result might be a discovery of vast importance."
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« Reply #27 on: July 11, 2007, 07:35:11 am »







His view, given the reception of his hypotheses, is natural. But it is by no means implausible. In 1955, a cartographer named M. Destombes announced the discovery of Ferdinand Magellan's own chart of his epochal circumnavigation of the world. No one had known it existed, but Destombes found it - in the archives of Istanbul.

*************************************************************************************


MORE ON  PIRI REIS  AND CHISTOPHER COLUMBUS IN


THE SECTION:                  "EXPLORERS AND ADVENTURERS"


**************************************************************************************



AUTHOR:

Paul F. Hoye, Editor of Aramco World and formerly a reporter and columnist on The Providence Journal, studied Middle East affairs at Columbia University under the Advanced International Reporting Program. Paul Lunde is a graduate of London's School of Oriental and African Studies, and is currently working on Arabic manuscripts in the Vatican Library in Rome.


www.saudiaramcoworld.com
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« Reply #28 on: July 11, 2007, 07:48:02 am »



Bartholomew Columbus/Alessandro Zorzi, sketch map, Asia




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« Reply #29 on: July 11, 2007, 07:49:43 am »



Bartholomew Columbus/Alessandro Zorzi, sketch map, West Indies
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