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Author Topic: Who discovered the Great Salt Lake?
NR
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I am currently doing some personal research on the Great Salt Lake in Utah.

According to all current "official" accounts that I can find, the Great Salt Lake was not known to the "white man" until around 1776 when Spanish missionary explorers Dominguez and Escalante learned of Great Salt Lake from the Native Americans.

Also according to all current "official" accounts, the first white person known to have visited the lake was Jim Bridger in 1825.

However, I believe I have found evidence that proves Dominguez and Escalante were NOT the first "white men" to learn about and document the existence of the Great Salt Lake.

After 4 weeks of exhaustive research on the Internet I have come to the conclusion that I may be the first to realize this evidence for what it is; proof that the "white man" knew about the Great Salt Lake in the late 1500's to early 1600's.

Due to the fact that I believe my compelling evidence, (while not proof positive), has been overlooked until now, I will not be revealing this evidence until I can do further research and find a way to make sure I am given credit, should my theory prove true.

Currently, I am looking for ANY and ALL information, websites, books, etc. that relate to "official" information regarding the discovery of the Great Salt Lake.

I am also looking for information on the following Spanish Missionaries and Explorers or anything related to their expeditions of the southwestern US in the late 16th - early 17th centuries:

1) Fray Marcos De Nizza (De Niza or De Nisa according to some spellings)
2) Cabeza de Vaca
3) Diego de Alcaraz
4) Francisco Vasquez de Coronado
5) Pedro de Castañeda
6) Antonio de Espejo
7) Francisco Sánchez Xamuscado (Chamuscado according to some spellings)

I am asking anyone at Allstocks to please post any relevant information or links on this thread. Anyone who posts information that furthers my research will be given credit, should my theory pan out.

I will reveal my evidence at a later undetermined date, unless someone knows a way I can assure that someone else won't run off with my theory without giving me credit, should I post the evidence here in a public forum.

If anyone knows how I could accomplish this so that I can post the evidence immediately in order to facilitate quicker and more thorough research, please by all means let me know either via this thread or via PM.

TIA,
NR.

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Pagan
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quote:
Originally posted by NaturalResources:
I am currently doing some personal research on the Great Salt Lake in Utah.

According to all current "official" accounts that I can find, the Great Salt Lake was not known to the "white man" until around 1776 when Spanish missionary explorers Dominguez and Escalante learned of Great Salt Lake from the Native Americans.

Also according to all current "official" accounts, the first white person known to have visited the lake was Jim Bridger in 1825.

However, I believe I have found evidence that proves Dominguez and Escalante were NOT the first "white men" to learn about and document the existence of the Great Salt Lake.

After 4 weeks of exhaustive research on the Internet I have come to the conclusion that I may be the first to realize this evidence for what it is; proof that the "white man" knew about the Great Salt Lake in the late 1500's to early 1600's.

Due to the fact that I believe my compelling evidence, (while not proof positive), has been overlooked until now, I will not be revealing this evidence until I can do further research and find a way to make sure I am given credit, should my theory prove true.

Currently, I am looking for ANY and ALL information, websites, books, etc. that relate to "official" information regarding the discovery of the Great Salt Lake.

I am also looking for information on the following Spanish Missionaries and Explorers or anything related to their expeditions of the southwestern US in the late 16th - early 17th centuries:

1) Fray Marcos De Nizza (De Niza or De Nisa according to some spellings)
2) Cabeza de Vaca
3) Diego de Alcaraz
4) Francisco Vasquez de Coronado
5) Pedro de Castañeda
6) Antonio de Espejo
7) Francisco Sánchez Xamuscado (Chamuscado according to some spellings)

I am asking anyone at Allstocks to please post any relevant information or links on this thread. Anyone who posts information that furthers my research will be given credit, should my theory pan out.

I will reveal my evidence at a later undetermined date, unless someone knows a way I can assure that someone else won't run off with my theory without giving me credit, should I post the evidence here in a public forum.

If anyone knows how I could accomplish this so that I can post the evidence immediately in order to facilitate quicker and more thorough research, please by all means let me know either via this thread or via PM.

TIA,
NR.

Ok, this might seem totally stupid. But what is your point?

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NR
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Not exactly sure what you mean, I thought it was pretty clear but...

I think the record books are wrong about who "discovered" the Great Salt Lake and when it was "discovered" and I think I have found evidence that proves it.

I want to reveal the evidence to the public for scrutiny without some professor somewhere reading it and then writing a paper about it taking full credit for himself.

I have no education beyond a few college courses and have no idea how to further this "theory" without say, having to write a book about it.

I guess I am looking for advice and maybe some help with research from someone who is maybe a bit more edumacated that I....

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glassman
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i assume you are looking prior to Eteinne Provost?

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NR
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Yes, much prior to Eteinne Provost (1824-1825). The evidence I have found dates to the early 1600's.

The only "white men" anywhere near the Great Salt Lake during that time period that could have learned of and documented it's existence were early Spanish missionaries and explorers, thus my interest in the names I originally posted.

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glassman
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Ok, if history is like science? you are going to find a peer-reviewed journal to present your paper to. they will review it and if they want to publish? they will (99% chance) ask you for a rewrite before they publish and if they don't want it? they'll just reject it.

there is still a risk of your ideas being stolen.
there's not much monetary value to anybody but the people who would be selected to review it. to them, a publication is job security. since you aren't "in the business", it's almost impossible to protect your right to credit without "friends in the business"...

Directory of History Journals

Welcome to the AHA's Directory of History Journals. This database provides helpful links to peer-reviewed English-language journals that publish in all fields of history. Just choose a subject category from the list below and the journal's description and submission information are a mouse-click away. You’ve expended enough energy researching and writing your paper; let us help you find a place to publish it. No more time-consuming searches on the internet!


http://www.historians.org/pubs/free/journals/

are there any historical societies that specifically focus on the lake or the region? you might be able to publish it in something they put out without peer review...

if you want credit, and are willing to spend some money? then self-publishing a short book is one way.

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NR
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Glass,

quote:
Ok, if history is like science? you are going to find a peer-reviewed journal to present your paper to. they will review it and if they want to publish? they will (99% chance) ask you for a rewrite before they publish and if they don't want it? they'll just reject it.
I have a lot of work to do before I have anything that even resembles a paper that I could submit to a peer-reviewed journal. Most of my research is in the form of notes and short paragraphs, with a few time lines and maps, links, images, etc... This includes six main pieces of evidence that will make or break the theory...

quote:
there is still a risk of your ideas being stolen.
there's not much monetary value to anybody but the people who would be selected to review it. to them, a publication is job security. since you aren't "in the business", it's almost impossible to protect your right to credit without "friends in the business"...

I'm not doing this for monetary gain, just doing it out of my passion for history and to "set the record straight"... though in the end I wouldn't mind if credit was given where credit is due...

quote:
Directory of History Journals

Welcome to the AHA's Directory of History Journals. This database provides helpful links to peer-reviewed English-language journals that publish in all fields of history. Just choose a subject category from the list below and the journal's description and submission information are a mouse-click away. You’ve expended enough energy researching and writing your paper; let us help you find a place to publish it. No more time-consuming searches on the internet!

http://www.historians.org/pubs/free/journals/

are there any historical societies that specifically focus on the lake or the region? you might be able to publish it in something they put out without peer review...

Again, I'm no where near having a paper I could submit, but I'll bookmark that link for later use. Also, I definitely should read up on anything put out by a regional historical society for the Great Salt Lake area, if one exists. It may be that I'm following in someone else's footsteps, and that information just hasn't made it to the mainstream media yet.

quote:
if you want credit, and are willing to spend some money? then self-publishing a short book is one way.
Self publishing isn't really an option at this point in time due to financial reasons, even if I had something put together that could be published. However I do have a family member who has self published before so I will have help there if I ever reach that point.

Regardless... thanks for the reply Glass. I'm beginning to think maybe I should just reveal the evidence here and let you guys tear it apart before I go through the effort of putting together something worth publishing. For all I know, I may be completely overlooking the obvious and my theory is a total wash.

NR.

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NR
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Well... ...Here goes nothing. This is one of the major pieces of evidence I have uncovered.

This map was made by Henry Briggs, (February 1561-January 26, 1630), an English mathematician notable for changing Napier's logarithms into common/Briggesian logarithms.

 -

It is dated 1625 AD and was one of the first maps to incorrectly show California as an island. This was an error that was copied to later maps all the way up until the early 1700's and created a dispute among cartographers that was not conclusively settled until the expeditions of Juan Bautista de Anza traveled between Sonora and the west coast of California in 1774-1776.

Take note however, of the large lake shown as the source of the Colorado river and the labled "town" just to the south of the lake in the Henry Briggs map. Close examination of larger replications of this map reveal that the "town" is labeled "Real De Neuvo Mexio" or "Road of New Mexico".

This, (coupled with much more evidence which I am currently withholding), IMO, means that it was a well known fact when the Henry Briggs map was published in 1625 that there was a large lake to the north of New Mexico, (the northern most regions reached by the well documented expedition of Francisco Vasquez de Coronado in 1540-1542), which could only be the Great Salt Lake.

Keeping in mind that according to all "official" accounts, the Great Salt Lake was not even known about by the "white man" until Juan Bautista de Anza's expeditions, do you guys think I am on to something or should I throw my theory into the trash heap and move on to other things?

TIA,
NR.

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bdgee
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NR, never throw any idea into the trash unless you have found conclusive irrefutable evidence that it is indeed JUST trash.
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glassman
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can you find a source for his map?


here's another one from between Briggs map and Anza's expedition that show it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Strait_of_Anian_from_Nova_orbis_tabula_by_Fre derik_de_Wit.png

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NR
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Bdgee,

Thanks for the encouragement, I just feel like I am overlooking the obvious. Many, many, people much more educated than I have probably poured over these maps for centuries, but never spotted the "Great Salt Lake" on them? Seems highly unlikely IMO... I'd hate to spend more time, effort and money on this "theory" only to realize I'm not the first to stumble across this or that there is a simple, already known explanation.

Glass,

I cannot find a source at the current time but as I stated in my original post, it must have been via Spanish explorers or missionaries in the late 1500's until the early 1600's because they were the only Europeans in the area at the time. For this reason, I suspect that Henry Briggs that the original source for Henry Brigg's map must have been either a Spanish map or report.

Thanks for the link. As far as I can tell with my research, the same lake is featured in many maps dating from 1598 until around 1725, shortly before it's "official" discovery via communication with Natives in the area during Bautista's expeditions.

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glassman
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heres' a British one for sale from 1587 (supposedly) that has it too.. (


i'm wondering how the Brits got the Spanish maps, there must be some connection...

i bet that if you can find the one the brits were copying from? you'll find who was there.


Map Maker: Jodocus Hondius / William Rogers

Place / Date: London / 1587


Coloring: Uncolored

Size: 21.5 inch diameter inches


Condition: VG

http://www.raremaps.com/gallery/detail/19055

price appears to be if you have to ask? you can't afford it...

what an amazingly accurate map for the date, huh?

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NR
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Thanks again Glass, I didn't have that map in my evidence pile, and 1587 is the earliest map I've seen that shows the lake.

I'm thinking along the same lines as you, find the source for the map, and I've got a "smoking gun" so to speak. The problem is, there are several well known expeditions that were in the area early enough to be the source for these maps, but none of them have been proven to have made it further north on the west side of the Rockies than the Grand Canyon, which was reached via a small "side exedition" of Coronado's men conducted while Coronado's force rested after the Battle of Hawikuh at Cibola.

http://www.psi.edu/coronado/battleofhawikuh.html

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glassman
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Cabeza de Vaca got lost on his trip from Tampa to Mexico... 1528-1536

mighta been him...

Traveling mostly in this small group, Cabeza de Vaca explored what is now the U.S. state of Texas, and possibly smaller portions of New Mexico and Arizona.

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Cabeza de Vaca's account of his journey in 1528-1536 was the motivation behind both Fray Marcos De Nizza's 1539, and Francisco Vasquez de Coronado's 1542 expeditions seeking the legendary "Seven Cities of Cibola", rumored to be cities made of solid gold.

I have read through a translation of his account "La Relación" or "The Relation", and can find no mention of anything resembling a description of the Great Salt Lake or it's mention among conversation with the countless groups of natives he encountered during his 8 years of travel.

http://www.eldritchpress.org/cdv/rel.htm

In addition, most historians agree that the furthest north reached by De Vaca was the small pueblo Hawikuh which was later conquered by Coronado, (in the previously mentioned "Battle of Hawikuh"), which is just to the south of modern Zuni, New Mexico.

However, his writings are vague and filled with large "time" gaps, some of which appear to be multi-month periods in which he wrote nothing of his journeys. I have read in a few places he later published a second, more detailed account of his journey, however the original was lost in a fire, and no known copies presently exist.

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Im curious Glass, what search terms are you using to find those maps?

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glassman
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early north american maps ... image function lets you scan quicker..

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NR
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Glass, you asked earlier how the Brits could have obtained copies of Spanish maps...

An interesting note that I ran across during my research:

During his 1577 expedition sponsored by Queen Elizabeth, Sir Francis Drake captured several Spanish ships in the Pacific off the coast of South America fill with treasure. It has been said that Drake used their more "accurate charts" during the rest of his journey north. It is highly possible that these charts could have been the original source for the Henry Briggs map of 1625.

Coincidentally, many of the charts used by Drake, and records of his expedition were lost when Whitehall Palace burned to the ground in 1698, which might explain why most maps made after the early 1700's do not show a large lake north of New Mexico.

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glassman
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that makes sense... Drake was a pirate with a license.

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NR
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Further details from a book titled "Pillaging the Empire" By Kris E. Lane.

On pages 45 and 46, in reference to Drakes capture of the treasure laden Spanish galleon Cacafuego:

quote:
"Short of the substanital feat of circumnavigation this was as good as it would get for Drake. Another prize was taken off Cano Island (Costa Rica) by the crew's pinnace on 20 March 1579 while the Golden Hind was being careened.

As luck would have it, the small vessel, though carrying little of value in its hold, had aboard two pilots of the Manila galleon route. These men, Alonso Sanchez Colchero and Martin de Aquirre, just happened to have their chart-books, or derroteros, along with them. Only Sanchez Colchero was detained, the others having been let go to sail the pirates own pinnace back to Nicoya, whence they had come.



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NR
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Ok well, I have my smoking gun... I've got a name, date and proof of the source for the lake that shows up on maps starting in 1587.

I'm am confident my theory is sound, and I want to move to the next step of creating a paper to present my theory.

Do any of you know any tips or tricks for how to go about the process of writing a paper? At this point all I have is a jumble of loosely organized notes and I'm not exactly sure of how to organize that into something that can be published.

NR.

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glassman
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tips or tricks for how to go about the process of writing a paper?

http://www.aresearchguide.com/1steps.html

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NR
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Thanks Glass. A lot of work ahead of me, still working on sorting everything based on the format used in the link you posted. I've got a short thesis paragraph written out, and I'm hoping I'll be organized enough to write the introduction starting sometime next week, (I've got a busy work schedule this week).

Anyhow, thanks again for the help, and just so you know, that map you found from is still the oldest map I have as evidence that shows the "lake". Also the date, 1587, fits perfectly (within 5 years) with other collaborating evidence that I have.

When I reach the point of completion, your "name" will included as an assistant researcher.

NR.

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glassman
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cool. i hope it generates some interest...

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glassman
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BTW? it would be good to read a couple of other historical papers to get an idea how other people aproach the writing too...

find one you like and "reverse engineer" it by writing it's outline...

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Good idea Glass, Thx again.

I stayed up late last night and finished a rough outline based on the last link you sent me. I am having a problem however, with figuring out the order to present the evidence in the body of the "paper".

It seems to make the most sense to organize the body based on a timeline, because I am trying to show that maps before a certain date do not show the lake, then after a certain date the lake is shown in order to demonstrate that a certain expedition is responsible for the information used to create the maps where the lake is shown.

However, certain events relevant to the "discovery" of the lake take place before or after their proper location in the timeline based body suggests they should be revealed.

Am I approaching this wrong using a timeline based body, or am I approaching the purpose of the body wrong, and I should relay all information in a time-based linear fashion in the body with out making any connections with the evidence, and then use the Analytical Summary section in the paper to tie all the evidence in the body together?

Also, how do I use information I know to be true and correct that is often used for fringe or far fetched theories without the risk of being associated with such theories?

TIA,
NR.

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glassman
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it sounds like you are now getting into the art of writing a paper.

it sounds (to me) like you need to try to find a paper that deals with the same sort of timeline issues to see how they handled it...

my history reading is almost entirely in historical based fiction like the Sharpe series by Bernard Cornwell

in general i would ASSUME that you would state your new theory in the intro and then relay all information in a time-based linear fashion in the body with out making any connections with the evidence, and then use the Analytical Summary section in the paper to tie all the evidence in the body together.

don't forget to make citations, "facts" are not accepted at face value...

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It has been a while since I've posted on this thread so I thought I might give an update in case any of you out there were interested.

While in the process of creating my paper to prove my theory, I realized I needed better quality images of some of the maps I am using as evidence so that certain features can easily be seen. As I was searching, I discovered another map that shows what I believe to be the Great Salt Lake.

This map is from 1575, which PRE-DATES the earliest map I had as evidence which is dated 1587, (This is the map found by Allstocks very own "Glassman"). Unfortunately, this map also PRE-DATES my other key piece of evidence, a written document by a Spanish priest from 1584 that claims natives of New Mexico told him of a "large lake to the north".

While this does not mean my theory is wrong, it does mean pages of typed text have to be trashed and hours of work have been wasted following false leads. It also means I have to go back to the drawing board and start from scratch in figuring out who could have been responsible for the information used to create the 16th century maps that appear to show the Great Salt Lake.

While I am a bit discouraged, I am still trudging forward on this and I'll post any major developments as they occur.

NR.

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bdgee
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Keep it up, NR.

The only true failure in scholarship is the failure of not trying.

You're already beyond where you were before you started and have even more data to study. You are already being a success.

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Peaser
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NR, Have you seen Ortelius’ oval world map of 1570, Gerard Mercator's in 1569, or Benedetto Bordone's in 1528?

http://sio.midco.net/mapstamps/ortelius.htm

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/58/Mercator_World_Map.jpg

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Peaser
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Neat lookin' book preview on early maps:

http://books.google.com/books?id=ICDV937xiNIC&pg=PA51&lpg=PA51&dq=Benedetto+Bord one+1528&source=web&ots=m6B9OQmpl_&sig=CjkMxbmsvPRJgS714DpufkVaT-c&hl=en&sa=X&oi =book_result&resnum=6&ct=result#PPA65,M1

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Peaser
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Mercator 1589 Polar Chart:

http://www.ub.uit.no/northernlights/eng/map03.htm

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glassman
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old maps are cool. considering how they had to guess how far they had gone east and west it's pretty amazing how close they were.

there's another old map that still has afficionado's scratching their heads too.

In 1929, a group of historians found an amazing map drawn on a gazelle skin.
Research showed that it was a genuine document drawn in 1513 by Piri Reis, a famous admiral of the Turkish fleet in the sixteenth century.
His passion was cartography. His high rank within the Turkish navy allowed him to have a privileged access to the Imperial Library of Constantinople.
The Turkish admiral admits in a series of notes on the map that he compiled and copied the data from a large number of source maps, some of which dated back to the fourth century BC or earlier.

The most puzzling however is not so much how Piri Reis managed to draw such an accurate map of the Antarctic region 300 years before it was discovered, but that the map shows the coastline under the ice. Geological evidence confirms that the latest date Queen Maud Land could have been charted in an ice-free state is 4000 BC.


http://www.world-mysteries.com/sar_1.htm

the implication of the existence of the Piri Reis map is that we are missing a huge chunk of history.

Piri Reis used several different sources, collected here and there along his journeys. He himself has written notes on the map that give us a picture of the work he had been doing on the map. He says he had been not responsible for the original surveying and cartography. His role was merely that of a compiler who used a large number of source-maps. He says then that some of the source-maps had been drawn by contemporary sailors, while others were instead charts of great antiquity, dating back up to the 4th century BC or earlier.

the US Navy confirmed that the map was more accurate than their own in 1953, and that it used plane geometry, containing latitudes and longitudes at right angles in a modern grid, but it is obviously copied from an earlier map that was projected using spherical trigonometry, and that much of the map showed features under a mile of ice.

getting accurate longitudes was impossible until this:

The British Longitude Act of 1714, in the reign of Queen Anne, promised a prize of 20,000 english pounds for a solution to the longitude problem to anyone that could provide longitude to an accuracy of 1/2 degree. It was an immense amount of money at the time, the equivalent of millions of dollars today.

As Dava Sobel explains, "to know one's longitude at sea, one needs to know what time it is aboard ship and also the time at the home port or another place of known longitude-at that very same moment. The two clock times enable the navigator to convert the hour difference into geographical separation.
By the time the Royal Commission was disbanded in 1828, it had paid out in excess of 100,000 pounds on determining a method of finding 'longitude', tax payers money for once well spent, British vessels were enabled to navigate the oceans of the world, first by lunar distance and then by ships chronometer, supporting the founding of an empire and a world power.


http://www.sailtexas.com/long.html


hmmmmmm.... there's that conundrum again, "tax payers money for once well spent"

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Peaser
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Life was so much more simplified then...

They didn't think so though.

Jeb dun got da fever. Goodnight Irene...

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Posts: 10736 | From: The Land Of The Giants | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
NR
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Bdgee,

Thanks for the continued encouragement. This is becoming a much larger project than I first anticipated, but the thrill of discovery drives me forward.

...

Peaser,

I have seen all of the maps you linked above with exception of the third you mentioned, the Benedetto Bordone map of 1528. This is because I have excluded researching maps that show only the exterior shores of the North American continent or maps that are dated prior to 1539.

Since I am looking for information that was gained via inland exploration, (discovery of the Great Salt Lake), I believe I can exclude most maps that only feature the shores because the information they contain has mostly been gathered by ships sailing along the coast. In addition, the earliest documented exploration in North America anywhere close to the Great Salt Lake did not take place until Cabeza de Vaca's journey in 1539, so I am fairly certain I can exclude any map dated prior to 1539.

(My original intent was to document every 16th century North American map available and compare different features to show conclusively that maps before a certain date do not show the GSL and maps after a certain date show the GLS, however this has proven both time consuming and unnecessary. Ironically, the very same book you linked to was instrumental in allowing me to focus my research on 20-30 different maps instead of hundreds of maps. It is also a book which I intend on adding to my personal library.)

The two other maps you linked both show large lakes in the interior of the North American continent. However, there is certain other critical evidence which I am withholding at the current time which leads me to decisively conclude they are not a representation of the Great Salt Lake. (Note that the shores of the large lake on the 1569 Mercator map touch the arctic circle.)

...

Glassman,

I have always had a fascination with maps, especially old ones. This is probably what led me to pursue a career in Surveying.

I have read a bit here and there about the Piri Reis map. IMO, there are compelling arguments both for and against whether or not the map is authentic. I think knowledge of Antarctic features in the Piri Reis is one of the most compelling arguments towards it's authenticity.

If it is authentic, I do agree that we are missing a large chunk of our history, which would not surprise me considering such archival atrocities as the burning of the Library of Alexandria, or destruction of Incan Quipu by the Spanish Conquistadors.

I would only add that while determining longitude AT SEA was very difficult until the mid-1800's, in the 16th century it was quite EASY to determine one's longitude ON LAND, (once you reached it), with only an astronomical table and a few days, (and nights), of careful observations.

....

In closing, I would like to thank everyone for their comments, and I look forward to further exchanges.

NR.

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One is never completely useless. One can always serve as a bad example.

Posts: 2402 | From: CA | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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