Did Marco Polo Discover America 200 Years Before Columbus?

The mystery of an ancient map

By on August 9th, 2007 18:06 GMT
Columbus may have been proud to discover the New World in 1492, but we clearly know that he was not the first European to have stepped on American land. 500 years before, a group of blond Scandinavians had done it. It happened during the Viking era, when these sailors-warriors were roaming northern Africa, eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Now the story becomes even more intricate. America, the West coast more precisely, would have been discovered by Marco Polo two centuries before Christopher Columbus set foot on the Antilles, according to a chart of the Library of the Congress in Washington investigated since 1943 by the FBI.

This document, brought to the Library in 1933 by Marcian Rossi, an American naturalized citizen originating in Italy, "represents a boat beside a chart showing part of India, China, Japan, the Eastern Indies and North America", signaled the report/ratio of the librarian of the time.

Named "Map-with-ship" (Chart with a boat), this document has "a blazon drawn under the ship, an intersection of letters giving a name: Marco Polo. The strait which separates Siberia from Alaska is the principal subject of the chart", signaled Thierry Secretan, author of an article published by the French magazine VSD.

In 1943, an analysis made by the FBI with UV rays "made it possible to establish the presence of three inkings on this chart, which was thus modernized in time". The report evokes several theories, including the possibility that "Marco Polo, who returned to Venice in 1295, reported in Europe the first information on the existence of North America, others that those acquired by the Scandinavian explorers".

"If this chart is well of Marco Polo, it arrived to America two centuries before Columbus and drew the strait which separates Asia from America four centuries before this last does not appear on the European charts", signaled Secretan.

Marco Polo never spoke about a ground that could be Alaska, but before dying, he told his friends that "I did not write half of what I saw", Secretan also mentions.

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