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Ancient Navigators

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Author Topic: Ancient Navigators  (Read 7737 times)
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« Reply #30 on: November 01, 2007, 03:05:14 pm »



Roy Decker, author

Evidence of ancient explorers traveling to the new world does exist, and more than a single anomaly.


The Biblical Clues:
The legendary mines of King Solomon made him the wealthiest ruler of his time(900bc). The exact location or even the existence has been hotly debated, however the Bible itself is fairly well proven in historical data, moreover there is no mention of "King Solomon's Mines" - rather it states flatly that he contacted his friend and ally to the north, King Hiram to hire his men to build and man his fleet of vessels. Hiram was ruler of Phoenicia, whose sailing men were renowned for their wide ranging travels. The fleet left from the Red Sea port of Ezion Geber, and returned to his port on the Mediterranean. The voyage took three years, each time returning laden with silver, gold, ivory, gems, spices and incense, and rare "almug" wood. The fleet had gone to the fabulous lands of Tarshish and Ophir, which are mentioned elsewhere in the Bible as being rich in precious metals and other trade items. Tarshish is situated in southwestern Spain, and was known to the Greeks as Tartessus. Ophir has not been found, but the name itself is a clue to its origins. The Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians rarely (if ever) used a name for a city or town ending in "IR" - while the Phoenicians did - for example Agadir in Iberia, or Rusaddir on the north coast of Africa. Tarshish was a Celt-Iberian city, destroyed by Celts in the pay of Carthage in about 500 BC. Carthage soon became the pre-eminent sea power in the western Mediterranean, up to the disastrous wars with Rome.

Able Seamen:
After several disastrous conflicts with the Assyrians, Pharaoh Necho (700bc) searched for a new way to defeat his dangerous enemies to the north. His first project was to construct a canal to connect the Mediterranean with the Red Sea, which would enable him to move his forces by sea with great rapidity and perhaps defeat his foes. During the construction, he had a nightmare, and when he turned to his soothsayers for explanation, they told him that the canal would indeed function as a highway for armies and navies - FOR HIS ENEMIES! He immediately scratched construction on the canal (which would not be built for centuries!) and turned to the possibility of moving his armies around the continent of Africa to outflank his enemy. He turned to those renowned sailors of Tyre, Sidon and Byblos (Phoenicia) and hired a fleet to sail from the Red Sea around the continent of Africa. The fleet set sail and took three years to complete the voyage, returning in the third summer*. One of the participants stated they had the Sun on "their right hand" as they rounded the tip of southern Africa. Herodotus took this as "proof" they were lying, as that was considered impossible! Today we know that is proof they did in fact travel south of the Equator. The voyage took too long to be much use for moving armies rapidly so the idea was forgotten.

*Herodotus also notes that the feat of circumnavigation of Africa was soon duplicated by the Carthaginians.

Phoenician sailors set out from their homeland on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean to trade, explore and to found colonies. They had competition from the Greeks, but managed to set colonies on most of the islands in the Mediterranean, along the north coast of Africa (including one named Carthago, or Carthage,from the punic Kart-Hadasht meaning "New Town") along the coast of Spain (then called Iberia by the Greeks). They built small trading settlements through the Sahara desert and scattered through the middle east. They were able to navigate by the stars, unlike their Greek and Roman counterparts who without any compass were forced to sail within sight of land at all times.

The New Town
Carthage had two beautiful harbors, an inner and outer, her location (in modern day Tunisia near Tunis) was excellent for seagoing trade and she prospered. The mother country (Phoenicia) fell to conquerors, but Carthage grew in strength. She sent out explorers (Hanno and his brother Imilco) to explore and colonize the Atlantic coast of Africa and the coast of Spain, France, and reached England, which they called the "Tin Isles" for the metal they traded for. She came into conflict with the expanding Greeks over possession of Spain, Marseilles, France and crucially in Sicily. The wars lasted 200 years with Carthage emerging the victor inspite of heavy losses. Massalia (today Marseilles France) and Syracusa remained Greek but the other areas became Carthaginian or Punic. (Punic is the term used by the Romans to refer to the Carthaginians, from Phoinike, as the Greeks called them.) Carthage had a good working relationship with the numerous Celts who populated Spain, France, and the British Isles, often hiring them as soldiers. (In fact almost a third of Hannibal's army were Celts who were readily trained and equipped.)

The history of Carthage was written by her enemies, who painted them as evil avaricious greedy people, more concerned with money and deceit than honor. Almost nothing remains of their literature and culture, though it is known that some must have been of high quality. There seems to have been a Punic style of architecture too, for even King Solomon hired Phoenicians to build his temple. A horseshoe style or semi-circle seems to have been popular. (*see below) A treatise on agriculture written by Mago (probably the youngest brother of Hannibal who was named Mago, but there were several others with that name) was highly esteemed by the Romans who eventually published a number of copies.

When Alexander completed his conquest they sent letters of congratulations and gifts - although fortunately for them Alexander didn't turn his attention to them. Alexander was apparently planning on an expedition against Carthage and Italy, but died of a fever before completing his preparations. The question of whether or not he could have been successful is moot, however it would have been a different sort of war than the Persian conquest. Carthage would not likely collapse after a defeat or two, Alexander was short on manpower (he was forced to reorganize his phalanxes with only the front three ranks being Macedonians, the remainder Persian and other levees) and how the naval conflict would resolve is unknown. Rome and Carthage were allied at this time, and the Romans were fond of saying that if Alexander had gone west instead of east he would not be known as "The Great".

Carthage gained ascendancy over the other Phoenician colonies, including Utica and Gades (or Agadir, today modern Cadiz) even though they were older. Some modern scholars state that Carthage had no body of literature, but this I find doubtful since the Phoenicians originated the alphabet! Whatever records of exploration and colonization were lost when Carthage was utterly destroyed by Rome in 146bc. However, several of the early treaties between Rome and Carthage still exist (in the latin) and one fact does stand out from them - that Carthage specifically did not want any foreigners to travel or do business beyond the Pillars of Hercules (today Gibraltar) - at least not without the permission of the Carthaginian Senate and an official of the government must be present.

Early Drug Use
Recently tests were run on ancient Egyptian mummies, that came up with astounding results. Evidence of their use of **** and nicotine showed up - in spite of the fact these are New World products! While some scholars are saying this must be from some African plants that were similar but now extinct (doubtful, but possible. One plant of particular interest was the "Silphium" plant, which was cultivated in what is now modern Cyrenaica in Libya - the plant was esteemed for many uses including medicinal and food. The plant seems to have gone extinct about the time of the Roman conquest of the area.) Silphium closely resembles the Anise plant (the licorice flavor) so may have been related.

The more likely scenario is that there was indeed contact between the old world and the new which involved trade. In my opinion the Egyptians were not particularly good seamen, but the Phoenicians were! The trade routes they used were jealously guarded secrets, and their ability to navigate was well known. When the mother land was conquered, most of the trading colonies became allied with Carthage. Thor Heyerdahl's famous "Ra Expeditions" proved that cross oceanic travel was possible even with the reed boats of Egypt, but navigation without compass would have been difficult.

It can be argued that the Egyptians had some method of using the stars for navigation, as the near perfect alignments of the pyramids could attest. However, it is my opinion that the Sphinx and other monuments ascribed to the Egyptians are in fact much older (circa 10000 years.) The Phoenicians were known to navigate by the stars, and in fact the Romans called the North star the "Punic Star" because of its use by them for navigation, but did not understand how.

Punic Calling Cards
The islands of the Canaries have stone ruins, the most imposing being a number of 'stepped' pyramidal structures located right in the middle of a town. Farther out in the Atlantic, the Azores have turned up with a hoard of Carthaginian coins, a statue of the 'horse' of Carthage, and a number of pottery fragments that could be Punic, but cannot be definitely ascribed to them. The official view? "May have been a ship that got lost." Along the Atlantic seaboard of the Americas a number of stone "steles" (monuments) have been found, usually inscribed in (of course) Punic, and many have the name of Hanno -the admiral sent out from Carthage with the express mission of exploration and colonization about 500 BC. Oddly, in northeastern Pennsylvania near the town of Hawley, one of these stone steles was found, inscribed in Punic ("This monument placed by Hanno, do not deface") of course this must be yet another "hoax". Some universities are now saying that the Punic seafarers may have been trafficking the entire circumnavigable coast of Africa and the coast of India as early as 1500 to 1200 BC.

Inscriptions on stone are found throughout the Americas, and coins of Carthage have been found in a number of states. Nearly all have been found close to navigable waters, and oddly all are of the earliest issues of Carthage, none later than the First Punic war have turned up. A metal urn with Phoenician themes and likely a Carthaginian trade item was unearthed near the junction of the Chenango and Susquehanna rivers in New York.

Divers investigating the odd stone formation off Bimini Island found a shipwreck, that dated to the 1800's - while searching they found that it lay atop an older shipwreck, one that is positively Phoenician and dates to approximately 1000bc! Evidence of two other ancient shipwrecks exists, one off Beverly Massachusetts and another off the coast of Texas.

Ancient historians
The Syracusan (Greek 100bc) historian Diodorus said the Carthaginians had a "large island" which was located "far out in the Atlantic ocean" - on which there were "many mountains" and "large navigable rivers". The land was rich in gold, gems, spices, etc. He stated that the Phoenicians had found it "by accident" while founding colonies on the west coast of Africa when some ships got lost. The Atlantic currents do in fact run straight at South America from that region so it would be possible for a lost ship to travel there, and the return voyage would be made easier by following the oceanic currents north then back east across the ocean. In fact this has happened in recent years, a small African fishing boat got lost in a storm and ended up on the coast of Brazil! In 1488 a certain Jean Cousin of Dieppe France, while sailing down the west coast of Africa was caught in a storm and blown across to Brazil. (This is four years prior to Columbus's more famous voyage.) The actual meteorological conditions do support this as probable. Diodorus said they (the Carthaginians) were "keeping it secret"!

Other historians (Herodotus and Polybius) have hinted at its existence, and further explained some of the other colonies. The coast south of Lixus was described as "teeming" with Punic trading colonies. One of the colonies founded by Hanno (500bc) which has not been located correctly was Cerne, (pronounced Ker-neh) it is my opinion this is today the Canary islands. When first discovered by the Portuguese, they found light skinned people, who had "writings" they themselves could not read and asked their Portuguese visitors if they could. They did not know what had become of their "motherland" - and this is taken by some authors to be proof of Atlantean influence, but I believe they were survivors of Cerne. The Portuguese were unimpressed with the people or their ruins and writings, and killed them - they also burnt the writings as possible heresy!

One of Plutarch's (2nd century ad) less known works also states quite clearly the state of affairs. He cited a document which was found in the ruins of the old city of Carthage. He said the Carthaginians knew of a "true continent" which was located far to the west of Britain. He added that "greeks" had gone there and intermarried with the local peoples. The "greeks" who lived there, laughed at the people in Europe, which they said was a mere island by comparison - while they lived on the true continent which bordered the whole west side of the Atlantic.

It is my opinion that the "big island" was the Americas! I do not think the Carthaginian explorers founded big cities in the new world, rather they were more interested in commerce. There are several arguments against their having contact, one of which is there is not any ruins of any fort. However, there are a number of ancient earthwork fortifications scattered through the Ohio river valley that date to (about) 200bc - the height of the power of Carthage. Some strange artifacts have turned up in these ruins (called the Hopewell culture) including one amulet that appears very much Hebrew! In some of these ruins there are long stone structures that look remarkably like the 'boat sheds' used by Punic and Greek sailors to protect their ships during foul weather. Location is a problem, but they are close to a river even though the river is today too shallow for navigation, it may well have been deeper then.

Supposedly there are no written evidence of ancient contact, but in fact there have been a great number of writings found inscribed on stone scattered throughout the Americas. A number of them have been studied and deciphered, many by Barry Fell. (His books America BC and Saga America contain a good deal on this) Although they are nearly always denounced as "hoaxes" it is strange that only recently are many readable! Most have been in an ancient Celtic script called Ogam, and quite a number are Iberian and Punic, while some are even Egyptian! The seamanship of the ancient Celts is little respected, yet no less than an authority than Julius Caesar described their ships as quite large compared to his small Roman vessels, capable of traveling in the open seas!

More information...

The true history of the Phoenician peoples and in particular the remarkable Carthaginians has never been told, virtually all we know of them is what was written by their enemies who were trying to paint them in the worst possible tones. Some of the worst of their practices such as human sacrifice were really nothing unusual for many cultures of their time. Even the supposedly civilized Romans buried alive two Gauls in an attempt to fulfill a prophecy which claimed that some part of Rome must be home to Gauls. The Carthaginians may well have been the most accomplished explorers in history.

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« Reply #31 on: November 01, 2007, 03:05:59 pm »

Greeks and Romans in the New World
Roman coins have been found in Venezuela and Maine.
Roman coins were found in Texas at the bottom of an Indian mound at Round Rock. The mound is dated at approximately 800 AD.
In 1957 by a small boy found a coin in a field near Phenix City, Alabama, from Syracuse, on the island of Sicily, and dating from 490 B.C.
In the town of Heavener, Oklahoma, another out-of-place coin was found in 1976. Experts identified it as a bronze tetradrachm originally struck in Antioch, Syria in 63 A.D. and bearing the profile of the emperor Nero.
In 1882, a farmer in Cass County, Illinois picked up bronze coin later identified as a coin of Antiochus IV, one of the kings of Syria who reigned from 175 B.C. to 164 B.C., and who is mentioned in the Bible.
Pottery: Roman pottery was unearthed in Mexico that, according to its style, has been dated to the second century A.D.
In 1966, a man named Manfred Metcalf stumbled upon a stone in the state of Georgia that bears an inscription that is very similar to ancient writing from the island of Crete called "Cretan Linear A and B writing."
In the early 1900s, Bernardo da Silva Ramos, a Brazilian rubber-tapper working in the Amazon jungle, found many large rocks on which was inscribed more than 2,000 ancient scripts about the "Old World."
Near Rio de Janeiro, high on a vertical wall of rock - 3,000 feet up - is an inscription that reads: 'Tyre, Phoenicia, Badezir, Firstborn of Jethbaal..." and dated to the middle of the ninth century B.C.
Near Parahyba, Brazil, an inscription on Phoenician has been translated, in part, as: "We are sons of Canaan from Sidon, the city of the king. Commerce has cast us on this distant shore, a land of mountains. We set [sacrificed] a youth for the exalted gods and goddesses in the nineteenth year of Hiram, our mighty king. We embarked from Ezion-Geber into the Red Sea and voyaged with ten ships. We were at sea together for two years around the land belonging to Ham [Africa] but were separated by a storm [lit. 'from the hand of Baal'], and we were no longer with our companions. So we have come here, twelve men and three women, on a... shore which I, the Admiral, control. But auspiciously may the gods and goddesses favor us!"
The Kensington Stone, discovered in Kensington, Minnesota in 1898 contains an inscription describing an expedition of Norsemen into the interior of what is now North America. It's estimated that this expedition took place in the 1300s.
In 1980, P.M. Leonard and J.L. Glenn, from the Hogle Zoological Gardens, Salt Lake City, visited a rock outcropping in Colorado that was reputed to be inscribed with "peculiar markings." Leonard and Glenn believe they are excellent examples of Consainne Ogam writing - a type ascribed to ancient Celts. One of the many inscriptions was translated as: "Route Guide: To the west is the frontier town with standing stones as boundary markers."
A fist-sized, round stone was found during the early 1890s in an cemetery near Nashville, Tennessee. Its front was inscribed with symbols thought to be Libyan, pre-100 A.D. style. It translates as: "The colonists pledge to redeem."
Pictures: An experienced botanist has identified plants in an ancient fresco painting as a pineapple and a specific species of squash - both native to the Americas. Yet the fresco is in the Roman city of Pompeii.
Statues: In 1933, in a burial at Calixtlahuaca, Mexico, archaeologist José García Payón discovered a small carved head with "foreign" features in an undisturbed burial site. It was later identified by anthropologist Robert Heine-Geldern as "unquestionably" from the Hellenistic-Roman school of art and suggested a date of "around AD 200."
Structures: Many stone chambers dot the New England countryside and most archaeologists insist they are all potato cellars built long ago by farmers. Others argue that they are too sophisticated for such a mundane application. One, is built into a hillside at Upton, Massachusetts, has sophisticated corbelling that follows they style of Irish and Iberic chambers. It's theorized that it was really built by Europeans around 700 AD - long before the Leif Eiriksson.
Ships: In 1886, the remains of a shipwreck was found in Galveston Bay, Texas. Its construction is typically Roman.
Toys: A doll made of wood and wax was found deep in a "Well of Sacrifice" at Chichén Itzá, Mexico, on which is written Roman script.
Tombs: In the Mayan ruins of Palenque, a stone sarcophagus was found that is very much in the style of the ancient Phoenicians.
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« Reply #32 on: November 01, 2007, 03:06:42 pm »


The Far-Traveling Egyptians

Statues: In 1914, archaeologist M.A. Gonzales was excavating some Mayan ruins in the city of Acajutla, Mexico when he was surprised by the discovery of two statuettes that were clearly Egyptian. One male and one female, the carvings bore ancient Egyptian dress and cartouches. They are thought to depict Osiis and Isis.
Inscriptions: Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs have been found in New South Wales, Australia. Located on a rock cliff in the National Park forest of the Hunter Valley, north of Sydney, the enigmatic carvings have been known since the early 1900s. There are more than 250 carvings of familiar Egyptian gods and symbols, including a life-sized engraving of the god Anubis. The hieroglyphs tell the story of explorers who were shipwrecked in a strange and hostile land, and the untimely death of their royal leader, "Lord Djes-eb." From this information, scholars have been able to date the voyage to somewhere between 1779 and 2748 BC.
Fossils: In 1982, archaeologists digging at Fayum, near the Siwa Oasis in Egypt uncovered fossils of kangaroos and other Australian marsupials.
Language: There are striking similarities between the languages of ancient Egypt and those of the Native Americans that inhabited the areas around Louisiana about the time of Christ. B. Fell, of the Epigraphic Society, has stated that the language of the Atakapas, and to a lesser extent those of the Tunica and Chitimacha tribes, have affinities with Nile Valley languages involving just those words one would associate with Egyptian trading communities of 2,000 years ago.
Artifacts: Near the Neapean River outside Penrith, New South Wales, a scarab beetle - a familair Egyptian symbol - carved from onyx was unearthed. Another was found in Queensland, Australia.
Tombs: The April 5, 1909 edition of The Phoenix Gazette carried a front-page article about the discovery and excavation of an Egyptian tomb in the Grand Canyon by none other that the Smithsonian. The Smithsonian has since denied knowledge of any such discovery.
The Scattered Tribes of Israel

In 1889, the Smithsonian's Mound Survey project discovered a stone in a burial mound in eastern Tennessee on which is inscribed ancient Hebrew lettering. Known as The Bat Creek Stone, experts have identified its letters as being Paleo-Hebrew dating from the first or second century A.D. Some of the letters spell out: "for Judea."
An abridged version of the Ten Commandments was found carved into the flat face of a large boulder resting on the side of Hidden Mountain near Los Lunas, New Mexico. Known as The Los Lunas Inscription, its language is Hebrew, and the script is the Old Hebrew alphabet with a few Greek letters mixed in.
In June, 1860, David Wyrick found an artifact on the general shape of a keystone near Newark, Ohio that is covered in four ancient Hebrew inscriptions translated as: "Holy of Holies," "King of the Earth," "The Law of God" and "The Word of God."
In November of that same year, Wyrick found an inscribed stone in a burial mound about 10 miles south of of Newark, Ohio. The stone is inscribed on all sides with a condensed version of the Ten Commandments or Decalogue, in a peculiar form of post-Exilic square Hebrew letters. A robed and bearded figure on the front is identified as Moses in letters fanning over his head.
Asians on the West Coast

Indian traditions tell of many "houses" seen on Pacific waters. Could they have been ships from Asia?
Chinese history tells a charming account of voyages to the land of "Fusang."
Old Spanish documents describe oriental ships off the Mexican coast in 1576.
Coins: In the summer of 1882, a miner in British Columbia found 30 Chinese coins 25 feet below the surface. The examined coins of this style were invented by the Emperor Huungt around 2637 B.C.
Japanese explorers and traders left steel blades in Alaska and their distinctive pottery in Ecuador.
Underwater explorations off the California coast have yielded stone artifacts that seem to be anchors and line weights. The style and type of stone point to Chinese origins.
Structures: California's East Bay Walls, ancient low rock walls east of San Francisco Bay, have long been a mystery. No one knows who built them or why. In 1904, Dr. John Fryer, professor of Oriental languages at U.C. Berkeley, declared: "This is undoubtedly the work of Mongolians... the Chinese would naturally wall themselves in, as they do in all of their towns in China."
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« Reply #33 on: November 01, 2007, 03:07:50 pm »

Pyramids in the Pacific Introduction

'Europe, Asia and Libya {Africa} are islands washed

on all their shores by the ocean, and there is but

one continent, which is situated outside these limits.

Its expanse is immense. it produced very large animals,

and men twice as tall as those common to our climate,

and they live twice as long".


Varia Historia,

AD 200

One Day in 1931 at Glenloth, Victoria on a windswept sandhill, the remains of the shoreline of a long vanished lake about 100km south of the Murray River, John Gibbs, a 10 year old local boy was playing in the shellgrit on Ancient Aboriginal midden. In a basin of the sandhill amid broken shells, he picked up a large fragmenting, football sized lump of petrified mud. protruding from one of the fragments he found a small bronze coin. Years later a Melbourne's Museum Numismatist would identify it as Greek, and that it had been minted in Egypt during the reign of the Greek Ptolemy Philometor the 6th, in the 2ND century.

The suggestion as to how the coin turned up where it was found is, of course, that it had been left behind by ancient visitors; Greek explorers perhaps, or even Arabs, Indians and Malayans with whom the Greeks traded. Similarly, in 1961 a family picnicking on the Daly river, west of Katherine in the Northern Territory, found a Gold Scarab, on object of worship of the Ancient Egyptians. How did this valuable ornament find its way to such a remote location? One might ask the same question of a 2,000 year old carved stone head of the Ancient Chinese Goddess Shao Lin (Protectress of mariners at sea), recovered from a beachfront hillside at Milton, on the New South Wales far south coast in 1983

And the many Ancient rock inscriptions of Phoenician, Libyan, Egyptian, Celtic, Scandinavian and from other origins that have turned up across Australia. Relics, rock inscriptions and Megalithic ruins, left here by seafaring adventurers who came from civilisations now long turned to dust. The sailed in search of new lands rich in gold, silver, copper and tin, precious stones and pearls, using the worlds oceans as water highways. It is one of the objectives of this book to demonstrate that these peoples not only discovered, and mined the mysterious "Great Southern Land" and its island neighbours, but established colonies, some of which survived for generations, and were large and important enough to establish a local ruling class.

By the time they vanished they had influenced the cultures of the native peoples of the region, leaving behind them ghostly Megalithic ruins and temples, tombs and Pyramids, and rock scripts in a host of Ancient tongues; relics that continue to perplex conservative historians, and question the dogma that the peoples of the Ancient World lacked the ability to construct and navigate ocean going water craft. The fact is that people were putting out to sea centuries before the invention of a written language and that the water craft they sailed in were far from flimsy.

Although my book concerns the 'unknown' history of Australia's discovery and exploration, it is also to some degree a history of ancient mining activities throughout the Australian-West Pacific region. In forthcoming chapters I shall demonstrate that, at various times in antiquity, and during the Copper and Bronze ages in particular, Australia's coastline saw the sails of mineral-seeking peoples from many ancient and exotic lands. However, anyone who finds the weathered rock inscriptions of some forgotten race thousands of kilometres from where it should be would normally expected to be found, and reports their discovery to the appropriate university professor is in for a rough ride.

Not only will they be made to feel that they are wasting the professor's time, but the inscriptions are not worth the trouble to inspect, for they would have to be Aboriginal markings that by mere chance and coincidence 'just happen to resemble writings of some ancient civilisation'. {The author has had this experience with more than one university archaeologist over the years}. Let's put it another way; such evidence is not supposed to exist, so it mustn't. 'Chance' and coincidence are words all too often misused by conservative scholars whenever they come up against anything unexpected or unexplainable.

They will employ these terms whenever diffusionists point to cultural similarities between ancient civilisations on both sides of the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans. In other words, they don't really know the answers. Of course, there are some brilliant researchers in universities and their caution in such matters is quite understandable, but sometimes there are cultural similarities found between ancient races often seperated by thousands of kilometres that deserve a closer, open-minded study. Is it 'chance' and 'coincidence' that Egyptian methods for mummification of the dead were known to primitive Torres Strait Islanders? Is it mere 'chance' and 'coincidence' that stepped pyramids and ziggurat-type structures similar to those in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia occur in Australia and on nearby Pacific Islands?

Yet some conservative academics will dismiss any ancient Australian pyramidal structures as 19th century grape growing terraces and if ancient middle-eastern or other rock inscriptions are found, they just do not want to know about them!

Regardless of their disinterest, relics like the "Gympie Pyramid" and central western New South Wales megalithic stone alignments and circles just will not go away. These, and many, many more mysteries of a forgotten history continue to stand, scattered across Australia and on Lonely Pacific Islands covered by jungle growth awaiting answers which conservative academics are unable to give.

Mere 'chance' and 'coincidence'? I think not!

Thor Heyerdahl proved the papyrus boat could be sailed from Egypt across the Atlantic to the Americas, which would explain certain cultural similarities in architecture, pyramid construction and mummification between the two lands. A similar voyage from the Near East into the Pacific Ocean would explain similarities between Sumerian ziggurats and others found in Australia and some Pacific Islands, including New Zealand. 'Chance' and 'coincidence', as an excuse for these archaeological enigmas is no longer valid. Ancient Amerindian relics found on remote islands close to Australia or on the Australian east coast, cannot always be explained away as discarded purchases from antique shops or souvenirs of 19th century European sailors.

The land that waited. The "Land of Gold", the "Land of the God's", endowed in all manner of riches; of gold, silver, copper, tin and other ores so prized by the ancient civilisations of Asia, the near and middle-east had, it seems, always been known to someone. No doubt seafarers from south-east Asia were first to find our shores and word passed to the Indo-Aryans of the Indus Valley, Sumeria and in time to the Babylonians and Persians. The tradition was already hoary with age by the time Sumerians provided the first rulers of Egypt. Celtic, and pre-Viking Scandinavian peoples, the Greeks and later Romans followed and the Indian and Pacific Oceans became watery highways, which in time became highways of commerce that provided easier and safer trade routes to and from lands hitherto accessible only by long and arduous overland expeditions.

While these historical events were transpiring there were already great cultural activity taking place on the opposite side of the Pacific; for the Amerindian civilisations were also putting to sea, their great balsa wood craft carrying large migrating groups of men and women with food and livestock across the Pacific and beyond, and those who returned to their home ports bought tales of the great lands that lay across the water beyond the western horizon. Thus it can be seen that Australia sat between two oceans, or rather two great watery highways, by which the civilisations of the ancient world had access to Australia and its' riches. This traffic increased {as will be seen} with the onset of the Bronze Age which lasted from around 2000 BC to 1400 BC.

The establishment of mining operations in the mineral-rich coastal and inland regions of our far north led to the establishment of long-term colonisation by the various nations who came to these shores. The Phoenicians and Egyptians were followed by the Chinese. When these people had departed they in turn would be followed by Arabs and Scandinavians whose overland trading expeditions from Sweden, Denmark and Norway via Russia and Persia to the Gulf of Oman led them to trade with coastal Arabs who in turn informed them of the lucrative trade to be had in the south-east Asian ports and also of the mysterious great south land beyond.

Ancient chronicles record Chinese voyages to Australia dating back to at least 1077 BC. There were probably earlier visits in search of minerals and other valuables but these records do not survive. BUT there maps do, as will be seen. So there can be little doubt from surviving ancient maps and classical literature that Australia, the fifth continent, was a land known to the maritime civilisations of the ancient world. According to some surviving writings of the ancients, Australia was known by many names. It was 'Ophir' or Land of Iron to the Phoenicians; 'Sinim' or Queen of the South to the Hebrews; the southern land of '**** Hiao' to the Chinese; 'Culhucan' or the Great land of the Serpent to the west {among other names} to the Aztecs, and 'Uru' to the Sumerians, Maoris and Peruvians {of which more will be said later}.

Many more names await the reader as we progress through this thesis. To the Egyptians of the Middle Kingdom {during the 12th dynasty-around 2000 to 1788 BC}'Punt' the land from which their trading vessels obtained frankincense, myth and other valuables was situated near present-day Somalia. Much later the name 'Punt' became confused and was a slang term for any generally unknown land in the Southern-Hemisphere and eventually linked with the mysterious great southern continent-Australia. They also called it 'Kenti-Amenti', the fabled "land of the Gods", the land or origin of all mankind.

Even the Bible contains a surprising number of references to the southern continent, such as in the Book of Isaiah where the prophet makes a passing mention of the people of the southern land of Sinim, "Queen of the South" which the Hebrews located far out in the Indian Ocean beyond the Oriental region. About 950 BC King Solomon and Hiram, King of Tyre had dispatched a fleet manned by Phoenicians into the Red Sea with orders to seek out the legendary Ophir and its' riches. Where the expedition penetrated is unknown. There is however a school of thought that 'Ophir' was the northwest coast of Australia and the source of the gold used in the building of King Solomon's temple.

The Persian Shah Namah, "Book of Kings" gives the name "Sveta-Dwipa" {The Sacred Land} to the vast southern continent located far across the {Indian} ocean beyond the known world. It was also known as 'Daglop', the Motherland of the World to the Tibetans, as written in their book "Bardo Thodol" and on Tibetan and Indian world maps dating back centuries. In 600 BC Anaximander drew a world map in Myletus describing a southern continent. Theopompus of Chios in the 3rd century BC drew a similar world map and wrote that, far beyond India and the known world there lay a great island in the region where Australia is now situated.

In 239 BC Eratosthenese, the Greek scholar drew a world map as a sphere, on which he described the great southern continent of 'Ausio'. He also measured the Earth's circumference as being 28,000 miles, an error of excess of only 13 per cent. It is obvious that maritime and geographical knowledge was far more advanced in the ancient world than hitherto realised by many historians. In 150 BC Crates of Mallos constructed an enormous world globe 3.3 metres in diameter in the ancient kingdom of Pergamum, near the Taurus Mountains in Asia Minor. This geographer taught that the earth was a sphere and needed balancing landmasses to keep it in equilibrium.

He therefore envisaged four continents divided by two great oceans, one with a north-south axis the other with an east-west axis, intersecting west of the Mediterranean. Asia/Europe/Africa he described as a single continent, 'Oecumene'. Seperated by his east-west ocean he described 'Perioeci' known as North America. Below this, in the vicinity of Panama and to the south of it he placed 'Antipodes', known today as South America. Far below these land masses in the region now occupied by Australia he placed 'Antoeci'. To the Greeks of Homers time {800 BC} the great southern continent was known as 'Ausio', the great south land of milk and honey.

It was also identified with the fabled land of 'Colchis' wherein was to be found the 'Golden Fleece', symbolic of all the wealth of the world; for the great southern continent had, since dim antiquity, been known to all the ancient maritime nations as being rich in gold, copper and all other valuable minerals and precious stones. Also, in 280 BC the Greek writer Euhemerus claimed in a novel of travel, "The Sacred Inscription" to have visited the island of 'Panchaia' in the Indian Ocean in the region now occupied by Australia. In "The life of Apollonius of Tyana" by Flavius Philostatus of Athens {175-249 AD}, there is a revealing passage which points to world geographical knowledge in antiquity.

"If the land be considered in relation to the entire mass of water, we can show that the earth is the lesser of the two".

Unless the ancient Sumerians, Babylonians, Persians, Egyptians, Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and others had not crossed the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, how else could Philostratus have known that the oceans cover the greater part of the earth's surface. Plato {427-347 BC} must have been cognisant of the great size of our planet, an also of continents beyond his own part of the world when he said in "Phaedo" that the people of the Mediterranean occupied only a small portion of the earth. "Besides the world we inhabit there may be one or more other worlds peopled by beings different from ourselves", wrote Strabo {1st century BC}. He even claimed that if the parallel of Athens were extended westward across the Atlantic Ocean, these other races might live in the temperate zone. Obviously he was referring to America.

Without any doubt, the ancients were far more advanced in their thinking than those Europeans of the Dark Ages, for they believed in a round earth. In Columbus' time nearly everyone believed the earth to be flat and that to sail too far out to sea would result in falling off the edge of the world into limbo! The Arabs and Chinese of this period however, were far more advanced in their geographical knowledge than their European contemporaries. Herodotus {born about 490 BC} tells us in "The Histories" that Aristagoras, the ruler of Miletus {500 BC} possessed a bronze tablet upon which lands and seas were engraved.

Pyheas of Marseilles, geographer and astronomer {330 BC} sailed as far as the arctic circle in the Atlantic Ocean and provided a scientific explanation of the midnight sun. Seneca {1st century BC} could have been thinking of the mysterious southern continent or America when he wrote his famous verse in the 'Medea'.

"There will come a time after many years when the Ocean will loose the chains that fetter things, and the great world will lie revealed, and a new mariner, like unto him who was Jason's pilot, Tiphys, will reveal a new world, and then Thule will not be the most extreme of all lands".

In the 5th century BC Plato wrote in "Timaeus" about the Atlantic Ocean and all lands beyond America.

"In those days the Atlantic was navigable from an island situated to the west of the straits which you call the Pillars of Hercules; from it could be reached other islands and from the islands you might pass through the opposite continent which surrounds the true ocean."

Plato obviously alludes to the Pacific Islands beyond the American continent, and Asia/Europe/Africa beyond. Thus, the ancient Greeks were familiar with the Australian region. I appear to be primarily quoting ancient Greek sources, but only because so many of their writings have come down to us from antiquity. It is certain that even they had borrowed the knowledge of far earlier civilisations concerning world geography. At this time the Chinese were not only making extensive world voyages but preparing maps of the lands they visited, and apparently returning home with animal curiosities, as we shall see further on in this book. Fragments of records tell of Greek voyages to the mysterious southern continent.

For example; About 300 BC Iambulus {as told by Diodorus Siculus} a Greek, set sail from Somaililand for the 'happy land of the south' said to lie across the {Indian}Ocean. On his return he described how he reached a land which could have been the Australian west coast. Besides seeing marsupials, he described meeting the human inhabitants. They were, he said, two faced, spoke with forked tongues and could carry on two conversations at once-obviously Australian Politicians! Then there was Eudoxus of Cyzicus about 146 BC who fitted out a large ship with supplies, artisans, physicians and dancing girls {!} on a voyage from the Red Sea to India.

He said he sailed off course and described reaching a land which could have been the west Australian coast. A Roman map of India dating from around 70 Ad describes islands below India which could represent Ceylon {Sri Lanka}, Sumatra, Java and other identifiable lands, any one could be Australia, and below these stretches the crude outline of Antarctica. Another crude map, drawn by the Roman geographer Pomponius Mela in 40 AD describes a southern continent which he called 'Antipodes'. A manuscript fragment by an unknown Roman writer of the same period describes animals with pouches in which their young were carried.

The Roman map makers were well aware of the southern continent, no doubt through the assistance of Greek geographers and other, possibly much earlier sources. The periplus Maris Erythraei of 40 AD drawn by an anonymous Greek sea captain was a map showing where the Greeks had been and how to sail there. The map described their voyages to Sumatra but they must already have been aware of other lands beyond and also Australia. An ancient Greek legend of earlier times spoke of the 'Sacred Golden Mistletoe". This Mistletoe is not native to Europe and is only found in Australia. Lucian of Samosata {120 to 180 AD} wrote of a distant land where thee savage inhabitants carried their young in pouches. The two regions were marsupials are found are Australia and its neighbouring islands, and South America.

The first marsupial known in Europe was brought there in 1500 by the Spaniard Vincente Yanes Pinzon. It was the story of the 'monsterous beast' of Pinzon's and of trees "so large that it took six men with outstretched arms to span one", that led some early Australian historians to the conclusion that Pinzon, and Amerigo Vespucci {who accompanied him} had visited the southwestern corner of Australia, near the Leeuwin River. Thier 'monsterous beast' was a kangaroo, and the trees the big Jarras or karri gums of this region. However, Lucian came from Samosata, on the Euphrates; the Euphrates leads into the Persian Gulf from which vessels sailed for India and beyond before Lucian's time.

It seems likely that some story of marsupials may, second or third hand, have reached the Gulf Ports in the days of Lucian. Lucian also speaks of a 'sea of milk'. This phenomenon is also mentioned by later chroniclers as a well-known occurrence in the Sea of Celebes. Arabs, Malays, Javanese and Chinese were aware of Australia's existence centuries before European arrival. The Chinese claims are far too extensive to relate here, but some of the Arab claims deserve attention. The Arab writer, Schems-ed-din-Mohammed, Caliph of Damascus {1256-1327} wrote of an inhabited land beyond Madagascar, across the {Indian} ocean where Australia is situated.

The Arab geographer, Albulfeda {1273-1331} wrote of an Arab expedition having circumnavigated the earth which took place some time around 1300, and event that anticipated the feat of Magellan by two centuries. He also wrote that, if two persons set out from the same point and travelled around the earth in exactly opposite directions, they would come back to this same point but their calendar would differ by two days. An Arab write does speak of an animal with a pouch but confuses it with a rhinoceros. Did he have a second or third hand account of a Wombat?

A 13th century account states that the sultan of Egypt called to his aid the Admiral of the Dry Tree, a mystical land of the {eastern} border of the Persian empire {mentioned by Marco Polo}, in whose land the only currencies were giant millstones. Did the Persian Empire ever extend into the Pacific Islands? For the only region of which this is true or has ever been true as far as we are aware, is the Caroline Islands with their stone money. In 1332 Brochard, a German Dominican, presented to the Pope and to Philip of France a memoir in which he speaks of a voyage to the Indian Ocean in which he reached 24.S. but that merchants and men of good faith{ presumably Arabs} had been down to 54.S.

These are Australian waters where they would have found land. The Arabs established trade routes on land and sea. Arab sailors made the journey round the Indian Ocean many times and learnt the patterns of tides and currents, and the seasonal pattern also of the monsoons. This knowledge of the ancients was suppressed and a flat earth was now official church dogma. Map making degenerated. One example is the "Mappa Mundi" of Richard de Haldingham of Lincoln in 1280; in which the world is conceived as a flat disc surrounded by ocean, its central waterway the Mediterranean and its precise centre at Jerusalem.

To the north is a compressed British Isles, while the southern regions include a distorted Africa, near-east, mainland Asia and Indonesia, Australia and America are unknown! Yet despite these outward appearances, the Dark Ages were not entirely 'Dark', for ancient knowledge of the existance of a great southern continent lingered on. As will be demonstrated in later chapters, many European travellers and explorers did in fact sail in search of it. Scandinavians led the way. Old World knowledge may have been in decline or suppressed; but across the Atlantic, that of the as yet unknown {at least to Mediaeval Europeans}Amerindian civilisations in many ways far surpassed that of the Europeans, in the fields of astronomy, mathematics, geography and navigation.

Far from confining themselves to coastal fishing voyages, the seafaring peoples of the Inca and Mayan civilisations undertook voyages of exploration far out into the Pacific to lands beyond. They carried with them the stone-building techniques developed by their forefathers, leaving ghostly monuments in their wake. Heads of stone resembling those of the Olmecs occur across the Pacific into New Guinea waters. Peruvian cave and rock art has been found on the Australian east coast. Both Inca and Mayan peoples must have reached the Australian region otherwise, how else are we to explain the presence of Myan racial features found among the Gilbert Islanders and Mayan-style step pyramids on lonely Pacific islands?

Also, Peruvian racial features have been claimed to exist among some Arnhem Land Aboriginal tribes and Maori people of New Zealand. Last century American archaeologist and historical researcher, Augustus Le Plongeon MD argued that the Maya were skilled mariners who divided the earth into five major continents and measured the distance between them. They knew how to calculate the division of time into solar years of 365 days and 6 hours; that of the year into 12 months of 30 days, to which they added 5 supplementary days that were left without name and regarded as unimportant. Any ancient people possessing a higher civilisation of such attainments would surely also have been highly skilled in the maritime arts.

As the Dark Ages vanished, crusades to the Holy land and pilmigrages to Jerusalem gave way to the search for the Spice Islands. America and the mysterious southern continent. As the new dawn of exploration opened, two seafaring nations vied for the domination of the Pacific-Portugal and Spain-and a series of historical events were set in motion that culminated in the arrival of James Cook at Botany Bay in 1770, and the establishment of British settlement.

The British colonisation of Australia was but the last of many preceding contacts stretching back to Bronze Age times. Ages-old stories of the mystic 'Land of Gold' had bought the latter-day Europeans to our shores, and although their motives may not always {as in the case of Portugal and Spain} have been with some pios mission in mind, their arrival was nevertheless inevitable. We have seen that the ancients regarded the mysterious southern continent with awe, as an earthly paradise overflowing in all manner of wealth; yet even in the days of Homer, the southern hemisphere became synonymous to some with death and the afterworld and some bronze Age Greeks associated the southern continent with the Elysium fields where the souls of the dead resided.

This confusion of an earthly paradise with the after-world {or underworld} of the dead would persist into Mediaeval European times, but these thoughts do not appear to have plagued the minds of the average Bronze Age mineral-seeking explorer, who knew that the lands beyond the Erythraean Sea {Indian Ocean} were rich beyond imagination. Thus, in the wake of the extensive cross-ocean mineral-seeking and trade expeditions that increased worldwide as the Copper and then the Bronze Age wore on and, with seafarers from as far as afield as India, Mesopotamia, Egypt and the Mediterranean lands competing with one another in countless voyages that were crisscrossing the Indian Ocean, it is most unlikely that Australia could not have been discovered by any number of hardy mariners from many distant lands.

Perhaps too, even they were merely 'rediscovering' the mysterious great south land, for its existence had, it seems, always been preserved in the 'lost paradise' creation mythology of many nations over a vast area of the Euro-Asian continent. It was not only the 'motherland' of Man, but also a continent possessing vast; limitless quantities of all manner of mineral wealth, precious stones and pearls; the "Land of the Gods" of the Egyptians and the lost paradise of the Uru of the Sumerians. This author has no doubts that the Atlantis myth of Plato had its beginnings in a stone-age megalithic civilisation whose origins are shrouded in the dawn mists of Australia's 'unknown' history'.

Its ghostly stone monuments stand weathered in the harsh Australian sun, scattered across the continent, like thousands of perennial smiling Sphinxes, each possessing a great secret. This 'Land of the Gods' seemed destined to be the source of great quantities of precious metals for Bronze Age civilisations. Nations grew great through mining and trade in the Bronze Age and all employed the watery highways of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans in their trading endeavours and in the search for new lands rich in minerals. There was a worldwide unity of race through trade.

"And the whole earth was of one language".

Genesis 11,1.

Homer {about 800 BC}

could write in "The Lliad": IV, 201; XIV, 302;

"Ocean, from whom the gods are sprung".

For powerful maritime nations were as gods in their command of the oceans and the great wealth this brought them. The advance of ancient technology came about because of the discovery of metallurgy. It led to better tools and weapons and with it better and larger seagoing vessels. Greek mythology also speaks of the four metallic ages of mankind.The first was the age of Gold, then an age of Silver, followed by one of Bronze and lastly one of Iron. Here preserved in myth is the history of metallurgy beginning with soft metals and progressing finally to hard iron. Metallurgy and mining, of course, did not begin with the discovery of smelting in the Copper Age. It can be traced back into stone-age times.

Radiocarbon 14 dating tests by Yale radiocarbon laboratory in America and the Groningen laboratory in Holland in the 1960's, upon charcoal deposits excavated at an ancient ochre mine in South Africa, revealed a date of around 20,330 BP {before present} and 41,250 BP respectively. The oldest date has recently been established at 60,000 years for a cave art site in Arnhem Land, Australia. It is an interesting fact that mining for red ochre was a worldwide activity among stone-age societies, as was its use in body decoration and rituals associated with death. It was either buried with corpses in small lumps or even in large quantities from Australia up through southeastern and mainland Asia, from where the practice spread to the Americas in one direction and across into Europe and down into Africa in the other.

Many cultural diffusionists argue that the mining of red ochre continued on until around 6000 BC when Man discovered how to heat and smelt metals at the dawn of the Copper Age. Metal working never developed in stone-age Australian Aboriginal society; the inhabitants continuing to mine red and other ochre pigments until European settlements. The cosmetic use of ochres for body decoration as well as for artifacts and cave art required great quantities, which were traded over vast distances across Australia. One important red ochre mine situated at Parachilna in the Flinders ranges of South Australia attracted large tribal expeditions from as far afield as western Queensland. Another ochre mine located at Wilgie Mia, Western Australia was worked by large groups of Aborigines who traded the substance as far away as central Queensland.

An ochre mine with stratified seams of red, orange, yellow and white pigments was found by this author at Mount Victoria in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney in 1965. Situated in a series of lengthy adjoining windblown rock shelters along a cliff base, it had been mined over a period of some 6,000 years. Often narrow holes were dug in such mining operations, some extending far into cliff sides following ochre seams. Like other stone-age people worldwide the Australian Aborigines also mined stone for tools. In the Blue Mountains in a chert mine, consisting of a thick seam of grey and black banded chert on a cliff above Beauchamp Falls near Blackheath, that was worked up to several thousand years ago; the lumps of chert recovered were either smashed and manufactured into implements on the site, or else they were removed for trading across great distances.

Tribes of the Murray river on the Victoria, New South Wales border manufactured stone axes from local basalt deposits, which they traded with tribal groups from further north, centuries before European settlement. Many of these tools have been found widely scattered over hundreds of kilometres in the central western district of New South Wales. As the stone axe technology of the Australian Aborigines improved, so did thier ability to carve better dugout canoes. Similarly, by 10,000 BC the development of better stone axes saw improvements in the water craft of the peoples of Mesopotamia and North Africa in both canoes and larger sail-carrying vessels.

This made for easier coastal and river trade, which gradually extended to longer voyages and shortened hitherto lengthy overland trade journeys; so that by Bronze Age times middle-east water craft were sailing on a more direct course to India via a cross-ocean route from the Red Sea coast. The growth of trade made record keeping necessary and led to the development of writing with the aid of an alphabet, which evolved with the approaching end of the Bronze Age towards the close of the 2nd millennium BC. An alphabet was developed in Phoenician Ugarit around the 15th century BC, although city states in Sumeria created their own which became more uniform with the development of the scripts of the early and Late Phoenician peoples.

When Xenophanos of Colophon {about 430-354 BC} wrote:

"Truly the gods have not from the beginning revealed all things to mortals, but by long seeking mortals make progress in discovering",

he could have easily have been referring to the great strides by then made in ship-building and navigation. Astronomical knowledge aided mariners, and like mining this too had along history traceable back to the old megalithic people of Europe and elsewhere. The spread of megalithic 'Stonehenge' and 'Carnac' type structures across the earth is another point of contention among cultural diffusionists and conservative archaeologists alike. From where and when this culture spread is still one of the greatest mysteries of antiquity, as is the identidy of the people responsible for it. Current archaeological opinion holds that the megalithic culture arose in western Asia around 5000 BC and spread into Europe where it died out about 1500 BC.

But what of the other structures that extend down through island south-east Asia into Melanesia and New Zealand, dating further back in time until the oldest are found in Australia? At first the builders of these often monolithic structures may have erected them as part of a 'star cult', the stones being aligned to plot the movements of various stars and planets, out of primitive fascination with the heavens. Then later, when seasonal movements were detected in the constellations, the stones assumed an agricultural importance in the timing of the planting and harvesting of crops as well as becoming an aid to mariners. Megalithic structures cover the Australian landmass, frequently engraved with examples of thee earliest form of a written script.

This Australian 'lost' megalithic civilisation, the earliest known to Man, is of immense age; crated by a mystery race who had in the course of thousands of years developed a highly-advanced stone-age technology. We shall shortly study this 'Australian Atlantis' and the evidence for its spread via water craft into lands beyond Australia. In 1970, on the basis of a crude ironstone idol resembling the ancient Egyptian god Thoth in Ape form {god of writing and knowledge} which had been ploughed up by a farmer outside Gympie, north of Brisbane in south-east Queensland, I theorised that, thee district being rich in copper, tin and gold, could have been the site of a Bronze Age mining colony established by Middle-east explorers.

I was already aware that a number of of ancient Mediterranean pottery had been dug up thereabouts. Finally, in 1975 together with my wife and fellow researcher Heather, I made a search of the Gympie district during which I stumbled upon the now famous 'Gympie Pyramid'; a crumbling 60m tall, 18 terraced stone structure, reminiscent of steeped pyramids constructed in Egypt up to 5,000 years ago. My discovery caused an uproar in Australian archaeological circles. Learned academics cried 'nonsense', and without bothering to inspect it, labeled the structure an example of '19th century grape-growing terraces'.

The Gympie evidence will speak for itself later. As a thesis on history this book is unconventional and approaches its subjects in what some authorities will consider to be a daring and unorthodox way. But then, no great theory has ever been 'orthodox' and world history is filled with the names of men and women whose discoveries challenged long established teachings. It is impossible to accept thee old indoctrinated historical view, that Australia just sat in limbo of uncharted seas waiting for European explorers in the 17th century to 'discover' our shores. In the light of growing acceptance that Columbus was preceded by Vikings, Chinese, middle-eastern and other ancient seafaring peoples, who should the evidence for pre-Dutch Australian contact be treated any differently?

I hope therefore, that my readers will see the contents of this book as I do; namely as a vast panorama of fascinating and exciting events to rival, if not surpass, the pre-Columbian discovery of America. However, if we are to consider who were our first discoverers, we must also give recognition to our earlier stone-age inhabitiants who, besides our Aboriginal people, include a number of other races that preceded them on this continent.

URU Publications-PO BOX 202 Katoomba, New South Wales, Australia

Ph:02 4782 3441


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« Reply #34 on: November 01, 2007, 03:08:38 pm »


History of Mauritius
The Phœnicians

Driven by the desire to acquire new and more cost-effective sources of raw materials and to sell their products to markets other than in their homeland, the Phoenicians covered enormous distances. They were among the first to trace routes to the western Mediterranean and beyond the Pillars of Hercules (the Straits of Gibraltar) toward the Atlantic coasts of Africa and Europe.

At the end of the seventh century B.C., the Egyptian Pharaoh Necho II, who reigned c. 615-595 B.C.commissioned Phoenician sailors to sail around the continent of Africa. Accordingly, he commissioned a number of ships manned by Phoenicians for the task. These sailed down the Red Sea and down the east coast of Africa. Every year they settled for a while on the coast, cleared a strip of land, planted a crop and, when they had harvested it, continued on their journey. In the third year they sailed through the Pillars of Hercules and back to Egypt again. They reported that as they sailed around Africa they had the sun on their right.

This statement, which those early voyagers of the 7th century B.C. could not have made up, indicates that the Phoenician sailors did indeed circumnavigate the continent of Africa, well before any European.

Archaeologists have discovered that the Phoenicians used coastal and deep-water routes for both trade and voyages of discovery. Coastal sailors only sailed during the day, from one village to another, always keeping land in sight. Deep-water sailors took routes farther away from the coastline but still kept sight of land.


When sailing at night, sailors kept their ship in the right direction by observing constellations and the North Star, or what the ancient world called the "Phoenician Star." There were other voyages undertaken by Phoenician explorers

Although there is no evidence of human habitation on Mauritius before the early seventeenth century, Phoenicians probably visited the island about 2000 years ago.

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« Reply #35 on: November 01, 2007, 03:09:28 pm »

Ancient Discovery before Christ

Maritime Discoveries of the Phoenicians

Among the ancient nations, the navigation was a very primitive and imperfect. Unacquainted with the mariner's compass, the bright constellations and the position of the sun were the only guides of the ancient navigator. He therefore rarely sailed out of sight of land, but carefully steered his little boat along the shore. Such sailing was of course subject to the delays and dangers of coast navigation. Only during the summer months would he dare to leave the port, despite the mild sky and the calm waters of the Mediterranean. He never could have thought to challenge the fury of the wintry winds. The geographical knowledge of the ancients was extremely limited when compared with ours. But despite such adverse circumstances, it is astonishing that with means so limited they have known so much of the boundaries of the ocean.

The Phoenicians, the first great maritime nation mentioned in history, were continually enlarging the limits of the known earth, until the fatal moment when the sword of the conqueror destroyed their cities, and extinguished their power for ever.

The early periods of Phoenician excellence are covered by the mysterious darkness of an unknown past. According to the accounts which Herodotus received from the priests, the foundation of Tyre took place thirty centuries before the Christian era. Their spirit of commercial undertaking triumphs over all difficulties. Stimulated by the love of gain, and the hope of discovering new sources of wealth, the Phoenicians had founded colonies on the Bithynian coast of the Black Sea (Pronectus, Bithynian).

At a very early time they must have steered through the Straits of Gades into the Atlantic. It is proved by the fact, that in the eleventh century before Christ, they founded the towns of Gades and Tartessus on the western coast of Southern Spain. Then penetrating farther and farther to the north, they discovered Britain, where they established their chief station on the Scilly Isles. They even visited the barbarous shores of the Baltic in quest of the costly amber. The amber was also coll jantar by some nations or yainitar by Phoenician and it was one of fundamental commodities which also served as a trading currency. It was very good international currency too. It vas very light, waterproof and impossible to forge.

They planted their colonies along the north-west coast of Africa, even beyond the equator. Full 2000 years before Vasco de Gama, Phoenician mariners are said to have circumnavigated that continent. Herodotus relates that a Tyrian fleet, fitted out by Necho II, Pharaoh of Egypt (611- 595 B.C.), sailed from a port in the Red Sea, doubled the southern headland of Africa, and, after a voyage of three years, returned through the Straits of Gades to the mouth of the Nile.

Phonecians caught open sea (pelagic) fis such as sprats and made them into salt product called garum, which was shipped in amphoraes. This was the undewriting business and the basis of their exploration. All theier cities and posts had garum factories, from Lisbon to Goa. Curiosly, this busines has not changed much for last 3000 years. The basics of catching pelagic fish or fishing and salting is almost the same, apart from ship size, steel cascos and freezing.

Expedition of Hanno
Resting on better historical proof, is the voyage of discovery to the south performed by Hanno. The senate of Carthage, the greatest of all Phoenician colonies, commanded Hanno to do the discovery trip. Sailing from Cerne, the principal Phoenician settlement on the western coast of Africa (probably situated on the present island of Arguin), after seventeen days, he reached a point which he called the West Horn (probably Cape Palmas). Then Hanno advanced to another cape situated only 5 degrees north of the equator, to which he gave the name of South Horn. This cape is today know as Cape de Tres *****s.

During his visit the silence reigned along the newly discovered coast during the daytime, but after sunset countless fires were seen. The fires were burning along the banks of the rivers, and the air was filled up with music and song; the black natives spending the hours of the cool night in festive joy.

Most likely the Canary Islands were also known to the Phoenicians, as the summit of the Peak of Teneriffe is visible from the heights of Cape Bojador.

The progress of the Phoenicians in the Indian Ocean was no less remarkable than the extension of their Atlantic discoveries. Their fleets sailed far beyond Bab-el-Mandeb to Ophir or Supara, and returned to the ports of Elath and Ezion-Geber at the head of the Red Sea with rich cargoes of gold, silver, sandal-wood, jewels, ivory, apes, and peacocks . These costly productions of the south were then transported across the Isthmus of Suez to Rhinocolura, the nearest port on the Mediterranean, and thence to Tyre, which ultimately distributed them over the whole of the known world.

The true position of Ophir is still in question. While some authorities place it on the east coast of Africa, others fix its situation somewhere on the west coast of the Indian peninsula. There is even the opinion that the name had only a general signification, and that a voyage to Ophir meant nothing more than a commercial expedition to any part of the Indian Ocean.

But whatever Ophir may have been, it is certain that the Phoenicians carried on a considerable trade with the lands and nations beyond the Gates of the Red Sea. Their trade in the direction of the Persian Gulf was extensive. To provide Nineveh and Babylon with the costly merchandise of Sidon and Tyre, their caravans slowly wandered to the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates through the Syrian desert, where Palmyra, their chief station, proudly rose above the surrounding sands.

Following the course of the great Mesopotamian streams, they reached the shores of the Persian Gulf, where they owned the ports of Tylos and Aradus and the rich pearl islands of Bahrein. Having loaded their empty camels with the produce of Iran and Arabia, they returned by the same way to the shores of the Mediterranean. How far their ships may have ventured beyond the mouth of the Persian Gulf is unknown, but the researches are saying that it is very probable, that they sailed through the Straits of Ormus to the coast of Mlalabar, taking advantage of the regularly changing monsoons.

The Phoenician progress in the technical arts, as well as in the astronomical and mathematical sciences was very important for the improvement of their navigation. For the age in which they lived, it is remarkable that their commercial communication reached from Britain to the Indus, and from the Black Sea to the Senegal. They wove the finest linen, and knew how to dye it. They were unsurpassed in the workmanship of metals, and possessed the secret of manufacturing white and colored glass, which their caravans and ships exchanged for the produce of the rest of known world. By the invention of the alphabet they communicated to the Greeks and other nations with whom they traded.

The destruction of the maritime power of Tyre by Alexander in 332 B.C., and the destruction of Carthage by the Romans in 146 B.C. was a tragic blow to the whole human race. Had the Carthaginians triumphed over the semi-barbarous Romans, who had not yet learned to imitate the arts of plundered Greece, who knows how far the Phoenicians would go with their maritime discovery.

Pytheas of Massilia.
In the times of Homer, when the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic had long been known to the Phoenicians, the geographical knowledge of the Greeks was still defined by the narrow limits of the Eastern Mediterranean and part of the Euxine. Only few century later their ships sailed beyond the Straits of Gades.

Colaeus of Samos (639 B.C.) have been the first seafarer of Hellenic race who sailed into the Atlantic, compelled by adverse winds. On his return from his involuntary voyage he was able to tell his astonished countrymen of the extraordinary rising and falling of the oceanic tides. It was seventy years later when the Phoceans of Massilia (present Marseilles), got courage to follow the Colaeus' path and to visit the Atlantic port of Tartessus.

The town of Massilia had honor to have a great traveler Pytheas, the Marco Polo of ancient civilization. This far-wandering philosopher, who lived about 330 years before Christ, had visited all the coasts of Europe, from the mouths of the Tanais or Don to the shores of Ultima Thule (probably Norwegian coast). His narrative made the Greeks acquainted with North-Western Europe, and remained for a long time their only geographical guide to those lands.

Expedition of Nearchus
While the horizon of the Greeks was expanding towards the regions of the setting sun, the conquests of Alexander opened to them a new world in the distant Orient. Greek navigators now for the first time unfurled their sails on the Indian Ocean. Now the Macedonian were desirous of subduing Asia and of firmly attaching it to the nations of the Mediterranean. To consolidate his vast conquests, Alexander sent a fleet under the command of Nearchus, from the mouths of the Indus to the bead of the Persian Gulf, to establish, if possible, a new road for a regular commerce between India and Mesopotamia. The performance of this voyage was reckoned as one of the most glorious events of his reign. The voyage also may serve as a proof of the slowness of ancient navigation. Nearchus took ten months to perform a journey which today may be easily accomplish in few days.

Circumnavigation of Hindostan under the Ptolemies
After the disruption of the Macedonian empire, the circle of the Greek discoveries in the Indian Ocean was widened by the enterprising spirit of the Seleucidae and Ptolemies. Seleucus Nicator penetrated to the mouths of the Ganges, and the fleets of the Egyptian kings sailed round the peninsula of Hindostan and discovered the coasts of Taprobane or Ceylon, known for the spicy cinnamon-groves odors wafting far out to sea.
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« Reply #36 on: November 01, 2007, 03:10:14 pm »

The Maritime Discovery


By speaking about maritime discovery majority of people would imagine Columbus and his time. But in the fact maritime discoveries were done few thousand years earlier. Mostly we have no written record from that time or they are still hidden somewhere in the tombs or not decoded yet. Thousand of Pacific islands were discovered by people who did not know how to write at all. Many places were discovered, forgotten and rediscovered again. Some discovery were described in writing, but for some reason ignored by the rest of the world for hundreds of years like for example Vikings explorations. Many today's book are covering just one continent, one ocean or one exploring nation. Here, on this page, we would like to put all maritime discoveries in timely order with the main credit to those great discoverers, who steeped on a virgin continents for the first time.

Ancient Discovery before Christ
Discovery of the Romans
Discovery from 9th to 13th Century
Era of Prince Henry of Portugal
Vikings Discovery
The Great Age of Discovery - 15th Century
The End of 15th and First Part of 16th Century - Pacific
North-East and NorthWest Passages to India
The 17th and early 18th Century Discovery
The 18th Century Discovery
The 19th Century Discovery
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