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Ostrich-Egg Globe Believed Oldest To Show New World 63

Posted by timothy
from the now-let's-fight-about-nomenclature dept.
The National Post is carrying a report of an exciting discovery for cartographic historians: an ostrich-egg globe purchased last year at the London Map Fair is now believed to be the oldest to show any part of the New World. "In a lengthy essay published in the latest issue of The Portolan, the peer-reviewed journal of the Washington Map Society, Belgian map collector and historical researcher Stefaan Missinne argues that the ostrich-egg globe not only predates the Hunt-Lenox Globe but was probably used as the model for casting the more famous copper object. If true, then the small, unnamed island shown to the far north in the 'Mundus Novus' portion of the egg-globe’s western hemisphere — a crude depiction of the 'New World' as it was understood just a few years after the discovery voyages of Christopher Columbus, John Cabot and others — is the earliest image of Newfoundland or any other part of Canada on any surviving globe in the world." More at the Washington Map Society's page.
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Ostrich-Egg Globe Believed Oldest To Show New World

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    It is obvious to anyone with even a modicum of education that the world is flat.
    This so-called "globe" is merely the first example of state-sponsored misinformation, designed to keep the general populace ignorant of the true nature of the world.

    • by houghi (78078)

      I heard people telling the world was flat and they got a lot of opposition.
      I heard people telling the world was round and they got a lot of opposition.

      But understand that the world is both flat AND round. Once you can accept that, we will have no more wars as this will show that we will understand and respect other peoples opinion and view.

      The world is flat AND round, just like a pizza!

  • that was (Score:5, Funny)

    by ozduo (2043408) on Sunday August 25, 2013 @06:14PM (#44672103)
    one very clever ostrich
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Ira Sponsible (713467)
      Yes indeed. This is yet more evidence of Intelligent Design. How else could such a marvellous thing get crapped out of an animal so clearly showing what man had not yet learned about the shape of our planet?
  • by fragfoo (2018548) on Sunday August 25, 2013 @06:20PM (#44672129)

    There are strong evidences that the Portuguese discovered America long before Columbus. But do not take my word, do your own research.
    Also, there are indications that Columbus himself was Portuguese.

    I will let this sink in (no pun intended).

    You can read a bit about it here http://www.dightonrock.com/discoveryofnorthamerica.htm [dightonrock.com], although it doesn't look like a very credible site, seems to be inline with texts I read elsewhere.

    Disclaimer: I am Portuguese.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 25, 2013 @06:45PM (#44672221)

      There are strong evidences that the Portuguese discovered America long before Columbus.

      Not really *strong* evidence. More like *dubious* evidence.

      As someone who lives near "Dighton Rock" and has visited it and done some research related to it,
      well.., there is a reason that only Portuguese people seem to have heard about it. Any credible evidence of anything has long been destroyed, and the most likely source of the markings on it is from native american activity.

      On the other hand, we KNOW that some Vikings were in North America ~1000 AD, well before Portugal existed as an independent nation. (Viking artifacts have been found in 2 sites in Labrador, and there is less definitive evidence in Quebec). I don't see any good reason to contest their claim to being the first European contact.

      Not surprisingly, that is one of the alternate explanations for some of the markings on Dighton rock. This is also very unlikely.

    • There are strong evidences that the Portuguese discovered America long before Columbus.

      Maps! . . . or it didn't happen!

      Actually, didn't the Portuguese (formerly known as) Prince Hank da Navigator keep an extensive collection of maps in Sagres? But they were all secret, so they probably didn't end up on any ostrich eggs. That would have made good proof.

      But then again . . . those bloody Vikings singing Spam were probably there even earlier. Any experts on Viking maps in da house . . . ?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Vikings beat you all. Get over it.

      • by Sir_Sri (199544)

        The vikings didn't seem to get very far south though.

        Columbus 'discovered' a couple of islands (peurto rico and cuba basically), at least initially. The difference was that the vikings seem to have contented themselves with the north, whereas Spanish and Portuguese and British and French sailors started looking for anything else, and importantly, looking for edges once they found the giant land mass that is north, central and south america.

        I suppose it's all down to practical differences. The Vikings did

    • by plover (150551) on Sunday August 25, 2013 @07:09PM (#44672309) Homepage Journal

      Discovery credit often goes to the first person to successfully exploit the thing discovered. People make similar claims about the first airplane to fly, yet it was the Wrights who both flew early AND created the Wright Company to capitalize on their new invention -- therefore they get the lion's share of the credit. There are strong arguments to be made for Mozhaysky, Ader, Maxim, and others to have beaten the Wrights to be the first to fly a heavier-than-air craft, yet they didn't "get off the ground", so to speak.

      So did the Vikings or Portugese establish trade with the Americas? Did they bring back bars of silver or gold, or native American artifacts? Make maps or ostrich-egg globes? Were they celebrated with parades upon their return, something that others emulated and wrote about? Even if they were the first to arrive on the shores, nothing happened as a result.

      In other words, "history is written by the winners."

      • "Discovery credit often goes to the first person to successfully exploit the thing discovered."

        Only if you subscribe to a dominator culture value system. Otherwise, you can say the New World was discovered about 50,000 years ago, according to the latest findings.

        • by RockDoctor (15477)

          Otherwise, you can say the New World was discovered about 50,000 years ago, according to the latest findings.

          Errr, there's new evidence? Last I heard was that the likely settlement date was around 14-15 thousand years ago. There's the slim possibility of an earlier settlement which went extinct, but that's on very scant and much-doubted evidence.

          Australia, OTOH, was probably settled around 50,000 years ago. But the ice in NE Siberia then was thick enough to make it unlikely that anyone could have got acros

      • by T.E.D. (34228)

        Actually, the Vikings lived in the Americas for five hundred years. This was fairly well known at the time in Iceland.

        What Columbus had that the Vikings didn't was that thier American culture died out before the printing press was invented. Columbus, who was by all accounts a total buffoon, too stupid to even realise what he'd bumped into, became famous because the printing press had been invented [stackexchange.com] a few decades earlier. Thus all of Europe found out about his explorations, rather than just a few nautically

        • by fragfoo (2018548)

          The press thesis when compared with the vikings makes sense, but when compared with the "iberians" it does not. The iberians had the same access to press, they were not a just "few nautically-inclined iberians", Portugal had a whole sea discovery strategy and had the most advanced sailing knowledge of that time.

      • by fragfoo (2018548)

        So did the Vikings or Portugese establish trade with the Americas?

        Yes (the Portuguese).

        Did they bring back bars of silver or gold, or native American artifacts?

        Yes and yes, it is just disputed if that was before or after "Columbus".

        Make maps or ostrich-egg globes?

        Yes, it is just disputed if that was before or after "Columbus".

    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      Regardless, the Norse [answers.com] were probably the first Europeans to discover America. They are thought to have landed around 985, which is over 500 years before Columbus.
      • by GNious (953874)

        Is amazing the navigational errors you can make, after enough mushroom-laced fermented honey...

        • by RockDoctor (15477)
          I'd recommend you read one of Tim Severin's books about the "Brendan Voyage", to sober you up about the joys of seafaring in the Arctic in a sail boat with a thousand-year-old design.

          It's not a lot of fun in modern boats. Getting hit by a 22m wave spills your coffee, even in a modern 100,000 tonne dynamic-positioning vessel.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Everyone in Europe has their own theory on who Columbus (and his companions) "really" were. There are people who say that he or his backers were Jewish, out to get money to fund a new Crusade. There are people who say he was Portuguese or Italian or Greek (he at least spent some time in the Greek islands). In the end, it's largely irrelevant, except to people who need their nationalism stoked a bit.

      There was, though, a 16th century story about Columbus getting his info from the Portuguese. Sepulveda (a S

    • by Guru80 (1579277)
      Plenty of people "discovered" it through the years without a doubt....just nobody big enough to write the history books or be taken seriously.
  • by wrackspurt (3028771) on Sunday August 25, 2013 @07:22PM (#44672367)
    Everybody was fishing off the Grand Banks and trying to keep it a secret. Although throughout the beginning of the Age of Discovery [wikipedia.org] maps were kept top secret.
  • by djupedal (584558) on Sunday August 25, 2013 @07:52PM (#44672529)
    Da Vinci may have made that globe, or someone working with him. They had access to maps and books in the Vatican, which were gifts from the Chinese in 1434.
    • Were the maps the result of the The Ming Voyages [columbia.edu]? There's old tales that tell of the Chinese reaching the west coast of the Americas in the same era. China's xenophobic history seems to have been punctuated by just that one era of exploration. I've never found an authoritative, definitive read on the subject.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by cusco (717999)
        They may have traded as far away as the Gulf of Guinea, as Ming Dynasty ceramic has been excavated in the ruins of Timbuktu. An interesting book on the Chinese naval expeditions of the time is '1421, The Year China Discovered America' by Gavin Menzies. Although his conclusions are somewhat dubious the research he has done is quite interesting.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          An interesting book on the Chinese naval expeditions of the time is '1421, The Year China Discovered America' by Gavin Menzies.

          I get sad whenever I see someone take Menzies seriously. He is a crank, nothing in his books can be trusted.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Menzies is an idiot, and Chinese ceramics in Timbuktu are much more easily explained by down-the-line [answers.com] trading than actual voyaging. not to downplay what the Chinese accomplished; Zheng Hei's fleet was certainly technically capable of making transoceanic voyages, but there is absolutely no evidence that they ever did.

  • by the_other_chewey (1119125) on Sunday August 25, 2013 @10:47PM (#44673359)
    And the photograph of this great, revolutionary globe
    depicting the New World is centered on... Europe.

    Great job, National Post, fantastic reporting, that's what we
    need good journalists for.

    (Second link has a better picture)
    • Why is that unfortunate? No matter which country you're talking about, the map of the world is always centered on "home". Everywhere. All cultures. Curious why this is "wrong" somehow?
      • by Anonymous Coward

        The 'news' is about the part of the world NOT shown on the photograph, that's what's wrong.

  • Stevanius Jobus placed the first copywrite on 'directions to and of the New World' and then charged a lot of gold for it. Good thing is was so badly wrong to begin with.

  • While I certainly hope that the mapping society have done their homework, this sort of fascinating discovery is precisely the sort of thing that would attract the attention of skilful, knowledgeable and experienced forgers.

    There's an old adage that "if it seems too good to be true, it probably is" ; always worth remembering when something comes along like this which seems too good to be true.

    Hitler Diaries, anyone?

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