12 September 2020
2020 has been a challenging year for all of us. However, even amidst a pandemic, ground-breaking research on Pre-Colombian explorers continues. Recently this past August, Dr Sheng-Wei Wang has written a paper titled “Chinese explored Cape Breton Island long before the Europeans”. In this exciting report, Dr Wang describes new findings on Cape Breton Island, Newfoundland, Matteo Ricci’s 1602 world map ‒Kunyu Wanguo Quantu《坤舆万国全图》and four other contemporary European maps.
This paper compares Cape Breton Island and Newfoundland on Matteo Ricci’s 1602 world map ‒Kunyu Wanguo Quantu《坤舆万国全图》‒with their counter parts on four other contemporary European maps. The four maps are: 1) the 1562 Map of America by Diego Guttierez; 2) the 1569 World Map by Gerardus Mercator; 3) the 1570 World Map by Abraham Ortelius; and 4) the 1594 World Map by Petrus Plancius. The comparisons give clear indications that Kunyu Wanguo Quantu is not a direct or adapted copy of these European maps. This paper also makes an in-depth analysis of recent archaeological findings of ruins on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia in Canada. The analysis focuses on stonework on the island and the existence of an ancient canal across the village of St. Peter’s. The canal separated Cape Breton Island into two islands as depicted on Kunyu Wanguo Quantu but not on these four other European maps. The results derived from the analysis offer compelling evidence showing that: 1) Chinese lived on Cape Breton Island before the arrival of the Vikings around 1000 A. D.; and 2) the mariners of Admiral Zheng He (郑和) explored the island and built (or rebuilt) the ancient canal during their sixth voyage to the “Western Ocean” in the 1420s. This was long before the arrival of the Europeans in the New World. Such findings render the Chinese origin of Kunyu Wanguo Quantu undisputable.
Keywords: Cape Breton Island, Kunyu Wanguo Quantu, Matteo Ricci, Vikings, Zheng He.
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