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Did Chinese adventurer Zheng He discover America way before Columbus?


In contrast to the popularly accepted belief, a new book has claimed that Chinese explorer, Zheng He, was the first person to come across America and not Christopher Columbus.

During an interview with a UK publication, Gavin Menzies, the author of 'Who Discovered America?', said that the settling of North America by non-native peoples is more complex than previously thought, the Daily Times reported.

The 76-year-old writer asserted that the traditional story of Columbus discovering the New is absolute fantasy.

Menzies, who has been dubbed as "pseudo-historian" by critics owing to his claims, insisted that a Chinese map, which was created in the 18th century shows a detailed map of America dating back to 1418, and is credited to the Chinese Admiral.

Menzies said that the map, which was found in a bookstore, places Zheng He's efforts some 70 years ahead of Columbus.

Menzies has also claimed that Columbus made use of a copy of Zheng He's map to plot his own voyage.

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First Published: Thu, October 10 2013. 11:39 IST