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Chinese explorers discovered America before Columbus?

world Updated: Jul 12, 2015 19:46 IST
History

History may be rewritten as new evidence suggests ancient Chinese explorers landed on the New World around 2,500 years before Christopher Columbus, contrary to popular belief that the Italian seafarer 'discovered' America.

John Ruskamp, a research doctorate in Education Illinois, claims to have spotted petroglyphs or carvings high above a walking path in Albuquerque's Petroglyph National Monument in the US state of New Mexico. The carvings, a series of inscriptions with Asian character, struck him as unusual.

"After consulting with experts on Native American rock and ancient Chinese writing scripts to corroborate his analysis, I've concluded that preserved by the readable message was likely these petroglyphs inscribed by a group of Chinese explorers thousands of years ago," Ruskamp was quoted as saying by the New York-based Epoch Times.

Spanish daily ABC reported on Friday the carvings could reveal that the Chinese stepped on that region before the sailors who came in known caravels.

Ruskamp's thesis enabled him to write a book and make good money and now, the author claims to have deciphered inscriptions that corroborate his new theory, it said.

Till date, over 82 Ruskamp-identified petroglyphs have matching unique ancient Chinese scripts not only at multiple sites in Albuquerque, but also nearby in Arizona, as well as in Utah, Nevada, California, Oklahoma, and Ontario.

"Collectively, I believe that most of these artifacts were created by an early Chinese exploratory expedition" though it appears that some reproductions were made by native people for their own purposes, he said.

One ancient message, cartouche or carved tablet preserved by three Arizona petroglyphs, translates as: "Set apart (for) 10 years together; declaring (to) return, (the) journey completed, (to the) house of the Sun; (The) journey completed together."

At the end of this text is an unidentified character that might be the author's signature, the report said.

Ruskamp said the mixed styles of Chinese scripts found in the petroglyphs indicate that they were made during a transitional period of writing in China, not long after 1046 BC - hundreds of years before Columbus arrived at the New World in 1492.

It is difficult to physically date petroglyphs with absolute certainty, notes Ruskamp. Yet the syntax and mix of Chinese scripts found at two locations in original correspond to what experts would expect to use explorers from China some 2,500 years ago.