View Full Version : Pre Columbain Voyages to America

Bill. MC
2nd August 2004, 00:33
It is amazing how the discovery of America is usually given credit to Christopher Columbus for landing on Cuba and other Caribbean islands in 1492. He was searching for direct route from Europe to the Far East via the Atlantic. Yet historians also recognise the fact that Vikings are said to have sailed to Canada during the 10th century AD. In AD 985 Norse seamen sailing from Iceland to Greenland were blown far westward off their course and sighted the coast of what must have been Labrador. In AD 1000 Leif Ericson became the first European to land in North America .

This was the first of many Norse voyages to the eastern shores of the continent. A colony was established in what the Vikings described as Vinland, identified in 1963 as being on the northernmost tip of Newfoundland. Leif Ericson was born in Iceland. The Norse had settlements there for quite some time and also in Greenland. So moving further westward would not have been all that difficult considering the distances that they had travelled from their basis in Norway or the Orkneys. They also had settlements in the Shetlands and the Faroes islands. In 1963 archaeologists uncovered the remains of a Viking settlement on the northern tip of Newfoundland. According to radiocarbon dating it was occupied in about AD 1000. This was the first proof that Europeans had lived in North America before Columbus.

The Greenland colony died out during the 14th and 15th centuries, and the Norse settlements in Canada are also considered to have come to an end before that time. Before the Norse came to Iceland there were Irish religious communities of mostly monks there. Despite the hostility that the pagan Vikings had to Christians these Irish still lived on there. Some people have even considered that the Irish may have went on to North America and settled there before the Vikings. There has been much speculation about these Viking settlements in Canada. Some people have even speculated about inter marriage between the Europeans (Irish and Norse) and native Indians or Eskimos.

On a recent History Channel documentary, it was suggested that there was even settlements in North America by Scots long before Columbus discovered the New World. These Scots are supposed to have went with the Viking ships from the Orkneys, to North America. The same program presented some evidence to suggest that this did occur. The Earls of Roslyn in Scotland had family connections with the Norse Earls of the Orkneys and Caithness since the early 14th century. Henry Sinclair son of Earl of Roslyn married Isobel, co-heiress of the Earldom of Orkney and Caithness and thus transported the Sinclairs to the far north of Scotland. Their son, Henry Sinclair of Roslyn became Earl of Orkney in 1379, obtained from King Haco VI of Norway. In 1455 William, 3rd Sinclair Earl of Orkney was granted the Earldom of Caithness. He also organised the building of Roslyn Chapel in 1446.

There is a carving of a maize on one of the walls of Roslyn chapel, yet the maize plant only grows in America. So how did they know about it? The explanation given on the History Channel documentary was that William Sinclair and others had sailed on Viking ships from the Orkneys to North America many years before Columbus’ time. The documentary showed excavated ruins of houses of a style common in the north of Scotland and also graves of Knights Templars. BTW the Sinclairs and many of their associates were Templars.

Despite the fact that in 1497 an Italian named John Cabot sailed west from Bristol, England, in order to find a new trade route to the East for King Henry VII of England, the program concluded that there may have be a continuous settlement of Europeans in North America. It even went on to say that the name “Nova Scotia” or New Scotland may have had an earlier origin than in 1621. On that year King James I of England and VI of Scots is supposed to have granted the territory to Sir William Alexander and named it Nova Scotia.

The claims made in this History Channel documentary may seem far fetched to many people, nevertheless it is still reasonable to believe that travel to North America was still possible by Europeans coming from Norway or the Orkneys, long before Columbus‘ time. Historians are in agreement that there was still a continuous settlement in Iceland and going from Iceland to North America would not have been too difficult during the summer months. It is difficult to say for certain that there were regular voyages to North America from Norway or the Orkneys, but the only way the builders of Roslyn chapel could have known about the maize plant was by the Sinclairs connections with the Orkney Vikings.

It must have been a great achievement for the Irish to have sailed up to Iceland. Their ships were probably not as sophisticated as the Viking ships. Nevertheless the Irish or Viking ships could not have been all that more sophisticated than the types of ships built since the Neolithic times. The Iberians who sailed to the British Isles and along the western European coast to southern Scandinavia must have been highly skilled seamen. There is much evidence that they even sailed as far north as the Shetland islands. If they managed to get that far, nothing much could have stopped them from going further. Like the Vikings they could have easily went on to the Faroes, Iceland and then to North America.

The Phoenicians were another great seafaring people. More than 2,500 years ago Phoenician seamen sailed to Mediterranean and western European ports. The Phoenicians were the great merchants of ancient times These Phoenicians (the Canaanites of the Bible) were Semitic people. Their country was a narrow strip of the Syrian coast. The area now comprises Lebanon and parts of Syria and Israel. Their territory was so small that the Phoenicians were forced to turn to the sea for a living. They became very skilled at shipbuilding and navigation. They passed through the Strait of Gibraltar, and founded the city of Cadiz on the southern coast of Spain. They sailed to the British Isles for tin and may have ventured around southern Africa. They founded many colonies, the greatest being Carthage.

If we look at the coast of west Africa and the coast of north west Brazil we will see the narrowest width of the Atlantic ocean. It lies between Monrovia in Liberia and Touros on the north west tip of Brazil. Is it too unreasonable to assume or speculate that an ancient seafaring people such as the Phoenicians could have sailed across this narrow part of the Atlantic. This may even account for the similarities in culture of peoples such as the Incas and Egyptians. Both had ancient cities with pyramids and hieroglyphic writing. Their emperors were supposed to have been descended from ancient gods and they both had Sun worshipping religions.

There has been some far out speculation by people such as Robert Charroux and more recently Graham Hancock concerning the similarities in these two cultures. They both contend that the founders of these civilizations were survivors from the sunken continent of Atlantis. Charroux’s speculations are even more far out. He contended that the ancient Celts of Europe had came from Atlantis. Some of them moved east on to the British Isles and Europe eventually going on to Egypt and others moved west to central and south America and founding the civilizations of the Mayans and Incas. As part of his evidence he points to the findings of anthropologists of Caucasian racial characteristics among some of the Indians in both North and South America. He also points to the fact that many Indian tribes regarded the first white men as being gods.

Here is a reference for Hancock http://www.grahamhancock.com/. I could not find a good one for Charroux.

America's first inhabitants are believed to have been ancient Mongoloid peoples who migrated from Siberia to North America via the frozen Bering Strait sometime during the last Ice Age. The descendants of these peoples are considered to be the various Indian and Eskimo peoples. Historians of the 19th century had the theory that people first migrated to the Americas from Asia across a land bridge about 6,000 years ago. This "land bridge" was supposed to have been available several times during the last 70,000 years due to drops in sea level during the Ice Age.

Since the late 1950s, historians have known through radiocarbon dating that people have been in the Americas for at least 11,500 years. More recent research suggests that they may have settled at a far earlier period. Some anthropologists have even considered that Indians, instead of moving across the Bering Strait, may have sailed across from South East Asia to America. They conclude this by racial similarities between Indian tribes on the eastern parts of the American continent and of the peoples of South East Asia. More recently genetic research points to the fact that Native Americans have a link with the people of south Asia. The American Indians (both north and south) are generally regarded as being Mongoloid, but there seems to have been some Caucasian influence. The recently found Kennewick Man skeleton has been studied by anthropologists and they have observed that the skull shape of him has Caucasian features similar to that of many early populations in Asia and the Pacific. A reconstruction of the Kennewick Man shows him to be a Caucasian. An archaeologist, working on the Kennewick Man, described him as being Caucasoid. After sending a piece of bone to a laboratory to be dated it shoed an age of 8,400 years. This may point to a Caucasian influence from the Pacific rather than from Europe. The Aborigines of Australia for example are also supposed to have a Caucasian influence.


Since there are no written records of the ancient migrations of peoples to the Americas we will probably not know for certain how and when they actually came. Many of the established theories of their origins may have to come into question. So too may the accepted idea that America was never visited or settled from the east before Columbus‘ time.

2nd August 2004, 13:31
I don't think as much is made of Columbus these days, as Leif Eriksson's voyage in 1000 is pretty much universally accepted to have occurred. To the native inhabitants of the Americas - who would also say America wasn't 'found' as it was never 'lost' in the first place - the 1492 date is seen as the start of the Conquest of America.

Let's not forget that Jesus went to America too.... after the Resurrection. :-|

Bill. MC
2nd August 2004, 13:38
510300 In Post 510300, Monodactyl said:

Let's not forget that Jesus went to America too.... after the Resurrection. :-|

I thought that it was India.

2nd August 2004, 14:11
510302 In Post 510302, Bill. MC said:
I thought that it was India.
Also Japan, where he and his followers founded a Christian sect (which still exists)... and where his body is buried.
He certainly got around.

According to the Mormons(?), the Lost Tribe of Israel also settled in America.

2nd August 2004, 14:26
Here's a link to the Japanese story (http://www.abcnews.go.com/sections/world/DailyNews/japan010123_jesus.html), if you haven't heard of it before. There are piccies on the link at the bottom of the page.

Bill. MC
2nd August 2004, 15:21
510306 In Post 510306, Monodactyl said:
Here's a link to the Japanese story (http://www.abcnews.go.com/sections/world/DailyNews/japan010123_jesus.html), if you haven't heard of it before. There are piccies on the link at the bottom of the page.

Interesting, but strange. It said that he went to Japan for spiritual training, but Japan's greatest spiritual tradition is Zen Buddhism, which came via China. Shintoism is a more primitive type of paganism indigenous to Japan. According to the following link it has similarities to Hinduism. So he would not find anything particularly unique in the spirituality of Japan.