As detailed in The Economist and recent headline news, Gavin Menzies (author of 1421: The Year China Discovered The World) has recently uncovered a copy of an 18th century map which definitively records the exploits of a Chinese explorer whose fleets roamed the oceans between 1405 and 1435. The map shows America, South America and other parts of the globe that were supposed to have been discovered decades later by Christopher Columbus. It is the final piece of evidence to underpin Gavin's theory put forward in 1421: The Year China Discovered The World.
In 1421, the largest fleet the world had ever seen sailed from its base in China. The ships, huge junks nearly 500 feet long and built from the finest teak, were under the command of Emperor Zhu Di’s loyal eunuch admirals. Their mission was to proceed all the way to the end of the earth to collect tribute from the barbarians beyond the seas and unite the whole world in Confucian harmony. Their journey would last over two years and circle the globe.
When they returned, Zhu Di had lost power and China was beginning its long, self-imposed isolation from the world. The great ships rotted and the records of their journeys were destroyed. Lost was the knowledge that Chinese ships had reached America 70 years before Columbus and circumnavigated the globe a century before Magellan. They had also discovered Antarctica, reached Australia 350 years before Cook, and solved the problem of longitude 300 years before the Europeans.
In this fascinating historical detective story, Gavin Menzies shares the remarkable account of his discoveries and the incontrovertible evidence supporting them.