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1421 talk for portsmouth university


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The MA Fine Art Summer Show last year (2012) had a critique by international artist Suki Chan. Georgette has a Chinese based project and Suki mentioned this book as one to research. I had already read the book so here I am to reveal all!

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1421 talk for portsmouth university

  1. 1. 1421:The Year China Discovered the World? A Personal Discovery for TheUniversity of Portsmouth 22nd January 2013 by Peter Missen
  2. 2. AgendaMy personal discoveryThe books authorThe book/structureNautical chartsInformation on ChinaConclusionsWeb sites
  3. 3. My personal discoveryOne Saturday morningbrowsing a bookshopfor “Japanese” books anoriental design caught my eye.Flicked through the book.Sparked an immediate interest.Parted with some cash.Went home and read most of the day, HOOKED!
  4. 4. My personal discoveryThe MA Fine Art Summer Showlast year (2012) had a critiqueby international artist Suki Chan.Georgette has a Chinese basedproject and Suki mentioned thisbook as one to research. I hadalready read the book so here Iam to reveal all! I did contactboth Gavin and the publisher.The publisher sent a set ofslides, just pictures, no notes! Ihave used a few that are marked(GM).
  5. 5. The author – Gavin Menzies
  6. 6. The author – Gavin MenziesAccording to Wikipedia (05/01/2013):Rowan Gavin Paton Menzies (born 14 August 1937) is a Britishauthor and retired submarine lieutenant-commander. He is bestknown for his controversial book 1421: The Year China Discoveredthe World, in which he asserts that the fleets of Chinese AdmiralZheng He visited the Americas prior to European explorerChristopher Columbus in 1492, and that the same fleetcircumnavigated the globe a century before the expedition ofFerdinand Magellan. Menzies second book, 1434: The Year aMagnificent Chinese Fleet Sailed to Italy and Ignited theRenaissance extended his discovery hypothesis to the Europeancontinent. In his third book, The Lost Empire of Atlantis, Menziesclaims that Atlantis did exist, in the form of the MinoanCivilization, and that it maintained a global seaborne empireextending to the shores of America and India, millennia beforeactual contact in the Age of Discovery.Mainstream historians regard Menzies theories and assertions asfictitious.
  7. 7. The book1421 The Year China Discovered the WorldBy Gavin MenziesPublished by Bantam Press, LondonBack cover says:On 8 March 1421, the largest fleet the world had everseen set sail from China. The ships, some nearly fivehundred feet long, were under the command ofEmperor Zhu Dis loyal eunuch admirals. Their orderswere:to proceed all the way to the end of the earth.
  8. 8. Fact or fiction or romance?Im not an authority on any of this.I present some of whats in the book.Many have “rubbished” this work.There are supporters of this work.The book was a fascinating read.The book holds many facts about China.Medieval China was very developed.China sent out treasure fleets.China knew some things centuries before Europeans.Dont shoot the messenger!Im happy to make this session interactive...
  9. 9. Book structureAcknowledgementsIntroductionI Imperial ChinaII The guiding starsIII The voyage of Hong BaoIV The voyage of Zhou ManV The voyage of Zhou WenVI The voyage of Yang QingVII Portugal inherits the crown
  10. 10. Book structureEpilogue: The Chinese legacyPostscriptAppendicesChinese circumnavigation of the world1421-3: Synopsis of EvidenceThe determination of longitudeNotesIndex
  11. 11. AcknowledgementsRoyal Navy for his education in:Seamanship, cartography, astronavigationVisits to 900+ museums worldwide (3 called out)• The British Museum• The Shaanxi Historical Museum in Xian• Museum of History in LimaNumerous libraries all around the world6 pages of names to thankFinally his Italian wife, Marcella, for the finance!
  12. 12. Memorial stoneThe countries beyond thehorizon and at the ends ofthe earth have all becomesubjects and to the westernof the western or the mostnorthern of the northerncountries however far theymay be.Part of an inscription on amemorial stone erected byAdmiral Zheng He at Chang Loon the banks of the Yangtzeestuary in 1431.
  13. 13. Zheng HeIn the Peoples Republic of China11th July is Maritime Day ( 中国航海日 )The day is devoted to the memory of Zheng Hes first voyage1st Voyage 1405-1407 Champa, Java, Palembang, Malacca, Aru, Sumatra, Lambri, Ceylon, Kollam,Cochin, Calicut2nd Voyage 1407-1409 Champa, Java, Siam, Cochin, Ceylon3rd Voyage 1409-1411 Champa, Java, Malacca, Sumatra, Ceylon, Quilon, Cochin, Calicut, Siam,Lambri, Kaya, Coimbatore, Puttanpur4th Voyage 1413-1415 Champa, Java, Palembang, Malacca, Sumatra, Ceylon, Cochin, Calicut, Kayal,Pahang, Kelantan, Aru, Lambri, Hormuz, Maldives, Mogadishu, Barawa, Malindi,Aden, Muscat, Dhufar5th Voyage 1416-1419 Champa, Pahang, Java, Malacca, Sumatra, Lambri, Ceylon, Sharwayn, Cochin,Calicut, Hormuz, Maldives, Mogadishu, Barawa, Malindi, Aden6th Voyage 1421-1422 Hormuz, East Africa, countries of the Arabian Peninsula7th Voyage 1430-1433 Champa, Java, Palembang, Malacca, Sumatra, Ceylon, Calicut, Hormuz
  14. 14. IntroductionRetired Author - interested in medieval historyStudying charts of ancient marinersNoticed 2 large “islands” where nothing exists todayOn Pizzigano Chart of 1424Worked out as the CaribbeanPuerto Rico and GuadeloupeWho was there?70 years before Columbus!Started a 15 year search
  15. 15. Nautical chartsProgressing through the bookSparked an interest in these early chartsI spent a bit of “Google” timeIll show a few of the well know chartsFrom before and after the 1421 voyages
  16. 16. Kangnido 1402The Honil Gangni Yeokdae Gukdo Jido "Map of Integrated Lands andRegions of Historical Countries and Capitals" is a map of the worldmade in Korea in 1402. It is 158.5 cm by 168.0 cm, painted on silk.
  17. 17. De Virga World Map 1411-15This map, made by Albertinus de Virga between 1411 and 1415, is drawn on apiece of parchment 696x440 mm and also includes a calendar and two tables.One table was for calculating lunar changes, the other the date of Easter.
  18. 18. 1418 Ming Dynasty Map?
  19. 19. Pizzigano Chart 1424The Pizzigano chart is an Italian portolan chart dated 1424. The map containslarge islands in the North Atlantic Ocean to the west of Spain and Portugal!
  20. 20. Pizzigano Chart 1424GM
  21. 21. Pizzigano Chart 1424GM
  22. 22. Fra Mauros Planisphere 1459Fra Mauros planisphere is "considered the greatest memorial of medievalcartography" according to Roberto Almagià. The map was made by theVenetian monk Fra Mauro. The map is a circular planisphere drawn onparchment and set in a wooden frame, about two meters in diameter.
  23. 23. Cantino World Map 1502The Cantino World Map is named after Alberto Cantino, an agent for theDuke of Ferrara, who successfully smuggled it from Portugal to Italy in 1502.
  24. 24. Cantino World Map 1502GM
  25. 25. Waldseemüller Map 1507The Waldseemüller map is a wall map of the world drawn by Germancartographer Martin Waldseemüller. It was one of the first maps to chartlatitude and longitude precisely, following the example of Ptolemy, andwas the first map to use the name “America".
  26. 26. Piri Reis Map 1513The Piri Reis map was compiled in 1513 from military intelligence by theOttoman-Turkish admiral and cartographer Piri Reis, on gazelle skin. Thehalf of the map that survives shows the western coasts of Europe andNorth Africa and the coast of Brazil with reasonable accuracy.
  27. 27. Piri Reis Map 1513GM
  28. 28. Jean Rotz Map 1542The Jean Rotz map was drawn by the official hydrographer to King Henry VIII.The map depicts the coastlines of Africa, Asia, India, and China with greataccuracy, yet more surprisingly it also shows the east, west, and northernmostparts of Australia, some two centuries before Cook made his discovery.
  29. 29. Google maps 21st Century
  30. 30. Google maps - Caribbean Puerto Rico Guadeloupe
  31. 31. Back to the book...Emphasising information on China15 years of research in the bookLots of background informationNavigationOceansChartingSailingWildlifePlants/treesPeoples encountered
  32. 32. I Imperial China - The Emperors grand planNew Years day 2 Feb 1421China dwarfed every nationEmperor Zhu Dis InaugurationIn the forbidden palace28 heads of state presentFrom Asia, Arabia, Africa,and The Indian OceanAll brought by Chinese ships
  33. 33. I Imperial China - The Emperors grand planNOT INVITED WERE:Holy Roman EmperorEmperor of ByzantiumDoge of VeniceKing of England (Henry V)King of FranceKing of CastilleKing of PortugalThese backward states lacked any:• Trade goods• Worthwhile scientific knowledge Henry V
  34. 34. I Imperial China – The fleet set sailNavigated using the Wu Pei ChiThis document has survivedBy 1421 China had over 600 years of ocean navigationBased on the Pole StarThey had the compassCould not use sun for latitude yet (Portuguese in 1474)Used sand clocks for time10 lots of 2.4 hours per day (length of a seamans watch)Problem measuring longitudeCould not tell the speed of water moving under themNo measure of absolute time yet (wait 350 years for this!)
  35. 35. I Imperial China – The fleet set sailChinese Marine Engineers built awesome shipsAble to withstand storms and typhoons Junk compared with a European ship
  36. 36. I Imperial China – The fleet set sail15th Century Chinese marine technologyRobust frame in sectionsWatertight bulkheads bolted together with brass pins3 layers of hardwood on a teak frameCaulked with coir and sealed with boiled tung oil and limeAcres of orchards of tung trees needed for the fleetsReinforced bow with channels to internal compartmentsTeak keel bound with iron hoopsRectangular and composite stones plus mud balls for ballastAdditional movable keels for stabilitySemi submersible anchors to reduce rolling
  37. 37. I Imperial China – The fleet set sailThe Chinese junks of the treasure fleet wereMASSIVE!500 feet long9 masts4 decksModels show:Zheng Hes junkEuropean ship
  38. 38. I Imperial China – The fleet set sail Admiral Zheng Hes fleet included:Somewhere between 500 and 800 ships (accounts vary)180 medical officers1 medical officer per 150 peopleElite crew of navigators and compass menWorked from a small bridge – lived separate to restShips also carried artisans and all sorts of craftsmenCaulkers, sail makers, anchor and pump repairers, scaffolders,carpenters, tung oil paintersThese craftsmen kept the fleet in good repairHistorian, Ma Huan, on board to document voyage.Published “Overall Survey of the Ocean Shores” in 1433
  39. 39. I Imperial China – The fleet set sailSeparate grain ships carried suppliesSoya beans, wheat, millet, and riceThe Chinese knew about scurvyTook limes, lemons, oranges, pomelos, and coconuts3 months supply for each sailorSoya very versatile – sprouted, milk, curd, tofu, and sauceFresh vegetables – cabbages, turnips, and bamboo shootsLimited meat but lots of fresh fish caught by ottersFresh water and knew how to distil from sea waterRats hunted by dogsArsenic to kill bugs and insects
  40. 40. I Imperial China – A thunderbolt strikes2 months after fleet sailedLightening struck the imperial palaceThe gods signal a change of emperor!Economy hit hard by many building works:Forbidden city Treasure fleetGrand canal Great wall
  41. 41. I Imperial China – A thunderbolt strikesEmperor Zhu Di was weakenedMongol leader refused to pay his tributeZhu Di mounted an army to get back pride1 million men340,000 horses177,550 carts to transport grainDied on 24th August 1424His son Zhu Gaozhi ascended the throneA disaster for the treasure fleet!
  42. 42. I Imperial China – A thunderbolt strikesEmperor Zhu Dis funeral was a grand affairAs was his life – a visionary and gambler2 day march to the imperial mausoleumAt Chang Ling in the NW foothills of BeijingA cortege 10,000 soldiers and officialsA magnificent tombYellow imperial cloak and military decorationsPlus 16 concubines buried alive with him!
  43. 43. I Imperial China – A thunderbolt strikesZhu Gaozhi issued this edict on day 1:All treasure fleet voyages to be stoppedAll ships ordered homeAll ship building and repair stoppedAll official procurement for overseas voyages to be stoppedAll purchasers to return to capitalChina reverted to basics and closed down to the outside worldInflation controlled – no mining of gold and silverPurchase of luxury goods bannedBudget deficit slashedNote: China had paper money from 806 (centuries before Europe)
  44. 44. I Imperial China – A thunderbolt strikesAny foreign trade meant execution as a pirate!Learning foreign languages was prohibitedEmbargo on trade rigorous for next 100 yearsTo prevent trade a south coast strip of land burnt700 miles by 30 milesPopulation moved inlandShipyards decommissioned and plans destroyedAll accounts of Zheng Hes voyages destroyedEstablished colonies abandonedAfrica, New Zealand, North and South America, Australia
  45. 45. II The guiding stars - Rounding the capeThe “missing years” from 1421 to 1423Liu Daxia, Ministry of WarOrdered destruction of all written records2 carved stones found, 1 in Chiang-su, 1 in Liu-Chia-ChangTo commemorate Zheng Hes crowning achievementsThe great voyages of the treasure fleets We have travelled more than 100,000 li of immense water spaces andhave beheld in the ocean huge waves like mountains rising sky high, and wehave set eyes on barbarian regions far away, hidden in a blue transparencyof light vapours, while our sails, loftily unfurled like clouds, day and nightcontinued their course, rapid like that of a star, traversing those savagewaves. (1 li is approximately 500m)
  46. 46. II The guiding stars - Rounding the capeThe Chinese traded with Calicut since Tang dynasty (618-907)Capital of Kerala and most important port in Indian OceanRuled by Hindu kingsExtensive trade: cotton, textiles, spicesChinese use Calicut as a forward baseAll sailing distances based from CalicutThe fleet returned ambassadors to Africa and headed SouthOnce round the Cape the wind and currents give a free ride all theway to Cape Verde IslandsChinese charted the West coast of Africa on their journeyAfter leaving Cape Verde next land sighted would be Brazil
  47. 47. II The guiding stars - The New WorldIn 499 Hoei-Shin returned from a land 20,000 li eastwardsHe named the land Fusang after a tree thereThe tree bore a red pear shaped fruitHad edible shoots and barkInhabitants used for clothing and paperThe Maguey tree that grows in Central & South America?Hoei-Shin commented no iron was foundIron is found all over world except for Central AmericaDid Hoei-Shin get there nearly 1000 years before?
  48. 48. Voyages of the Treasure Fleets, 1421-3
  49. 49. III The voyage of Hong Bao -Voyage to Antarctica and Australia Hong Baos designated task was to chart world eastwards from 52º40S (Falkland Islands) Cabbage, wild celery, penguins, geese, and fish No fruit there Only 4 legged animal – a tame fox type creature Possibly descended from Chinese food dogs Canopus used as guiding star in the Southern hemisphere “The Straight of Magellan” same latitude as star Superb feat to get a junk through the straights Magellan had a Chinese map when he sailed
  50. 50. III The voyage of Hong Bao -Voyage to Antarctica and AustraliaCold and ice held no fears for Chinese sailorsChinese had 800 years experience of polar sailing (North)1000 years experience of navigating in iceNearest port to Beijing is ice bound 3 months a yearUse of Canopus gave Chinese a 50 year lead over PortugueseThe Chinese charted the South Shetland IslandsCharting precision meant they were there a while!Uninhabited wilderness of ice and rocks
  51. 51. IV The voyage of Zhou Man - AustraliaZhou Mans task – survey world west of South AmericaEncountered the Humboldt currentSwept northwards up the coast of ChileA novel about Zheng Hes voyages – Hsi-Yang-Chi (1597)Listed tributes offered from barbariansWhale eyes, bream whiskers, camels that go 1000 li, ambergris,frankincense, Cholula porcelain bowlsWhere was the source for these?Assuming camels were llamas everything comes from PeruNext stop AustraliaJust the small matter of the Pacific Ocean to cross...
  52. 52. IV The voyage of Zhou Man -The Barrier Reef and Spice IslandsValuable scientists on Chinese junks were mining engineersChina + India had half of the worlds entire wealth in 1421China had centuries of experience inGeology, mineral extraction, processingChinese set up long term mineral extraction settlementsFleet included horse ships for exploring landsBlood ponies from Tajikistan were favouritesChinese took great care of their horsesChinese geologists arrived in a mineral paradiseWrecks on coast, stone buildings ashore, aboriginal rock carvingsand paintings all signal Chinese were in New South Wales
  53. 53. IV The voyage of Zhou Man - The first colony in the AmericasArrived in Nanjing 8 October 1423 with no envoysWhere did he sail for 4 months in the Pacific?The Pacific coast of North America?A wreck off Neahkahine beachMade of teak, calophyllum pulley (South East Asian wood)Found paraffin wax (used to desalinate sea water)Asiatic chickens from Chile to CaliforniaRoses indigenous to South East AsiaMing blue and white porcelainMedieval Chinese anchors found off California coast
  54. 54. IV The voyage of Zhou Man - Colonies in Central AmericaMexican maque lacquer process identical to ChineseUnusual, complex, and time consumingSurface preparation - cracks are filledWith nimacarta – a mixture of rice flour and seshimeArticle is sanded downThen 10-100 coats of lacquer applied with human hair brushLayer must dry, be sanded, and then polishedPolishing with whetstone & deer horn powderRed colours used predominate in Mexico and ChinaDid the processes evolve separately?Same with dye stuffs producing brilliant coloursComplex procedures to extract and fix - coincidence?
  55. 55. V The voyage of Zhou Wen - Satans IslandBy 1337 China had accurate estimateof the distance from the Pacific to the AtlanticFrom Cape Verde just a short 2000 mile hopZhou Wen probably thought it was 4000 milesDue to the sea moving under themCannibals in Guadeloupe?As Columbus found laterDid the Chinese give this island a wide berth?Pizzigano information much less detailed than Puerto RicoPuerto Rico people much more peaceful!
  56. 56. V The voyage of Zhou Wen - The treasure fleet runs agroundDid the fleet get damaged?Many wrecks in the areaWhat is the Bimini Road?2 man-made trenches of huge rocksSlip ways to repair Chinese Junks?Using Ballast stones from the damaged vessels?Hauled up ships with rudder and keel in the grooveFlat bottom boat needs lots of ballast500 – 600 tons (2000 tons of cargo)Investigation blocked by Bahamian authorities...
  57. 57. V The voyage of Zhou Wen - Settlement in North AmericaIn 1542 Verrazzano encountered people the colour of brassWith long black hair and quick black eyesNot natives – where did they come from?Chinese DNA evidencePhysical evidence...Rhode island towerWants to test the mortarChinese use gypsum & rice to bindMany stones with carvings
  58. 58. V The voyage of Zhou Wen - Expedition to the North PoleThe island of Corvo – Portuguese arrived in 1430Found a statue of a man on a horseInscription was not understandableGreenland circumnavigated!Warm summers meant ice recededHvalsey people possess Chinese DNAIntricate carvings found on walrus ivoryDid the Waldseemüller map details come from the journey home?North coast of Siberia very accurate – who was there?
  59. 59. VI The voyage of Yang Qing - Solving the riddleYang Quin stayed in the Indian Ocean – a Chinese lake!100s of years experience navigating the oceanChinese built many observatoriesMeasured time by length of shadowsBy 721 Chinese had measured shadows accuratelyVary by 3.56 inches per 400 milesZhou Gong tower measurementsSummer solstice 12.3695 feetWinter solstice 76.7400 feetCould calculate each day of the year from the noon shadow
  60. 60. VII Portugal inherits the crown - Where the earth endsIn 1421 Portuguese sailed to the uninhabited island of MadeiraColonisation began in June 1421News filtered back to Portugal of the Chinese discoveriesThey took up the gauntletAnd were NOT sailing into the unknown!Started a great wave of European expansion and colonisationSpread across the globeHas affected the destiny of billions of people
  61. 61. VII Portugal inherits the crown - Colonizing the New WorldAll about Portugal...
  62. 62. VII Portugal inherits the crown - On the shoulders of giantsNorth East coast of Brazil discovered by the Chinese?On many maps before European explorers sailedEuropeans rediscovered the worldKnown at first hand to the Chinese and Niccolo da ContiNiccolo da Conti was on a Chinese Junk that reached AustraliaEuropeans set sail with Chinese maps showing the wayHow unlucky China was that fire ravaged the Forbidden CityThe world could have been a much different place!
  63. 63. Epilogue: The Chinese legacyChinese Buddhist architecture graces Asian skylinesFrom Malacca to KobeChinese silk from the Ming dynastyFrom Africa to JapanChinese blue and white ceramicsFrom Australia to ManchuriaChinese jadeCommunities united by trade, religion, and written language4000 km from east to west and north to southThe Chinese imperial footprint remainsThe footprint of a colossus
  64. 64. PostscriptGavin gave a talk in 2002 about his theories andevidenceAt the Royal Geographic Society, LondonBroadcast around the worldArticles appeared in 74 newspapersNew evidence poured in from all around the worldIncluding news of a large wreck off Fraser IslandMore and more DNA evidencee.g. Korean DNA in Norwegian fishermen
  65. 65. AppendicesWell over 100 pages!Appendix 1 - Chinese circumnavigation of the world 1421-3:Synopsis of EvidencePart I – European explorers did not discover the New WorldPart II – Only the Chinese had the capacity to chart the world atthat timePart III – Evidence of the voyages of Zheng Hes fleetPart IV - Evidence Zheng Hes fleets visits to specific placesPart V – Genetic fingerprints left by Zheng Hes fleets – the DNA evidenceAppendix 2 - The determination of longitude
  66. 66. NotesThere are comprehensive notes throughout the book19 pages!Usually link to evidence or further readingNeed 2 bookmarks for this bookOne for the text and one for the notes...
  67. 67. IndexYes theres an index, its a book!18 pages of 2 column index
  68. 68. List of Maps and Diagrams Voyages of the Treasure Fleets, 1421-3 East Asia, c. 1421 The voyage to Sofala The circulatory winds and currents in the South Atlantic Ocean − i) The Kangnido map showing Africa − ii) The Kangnido map corrected for longitude − iii) Modern Africa The journey to the Cape Verde Islands
  69. 69. List of Maps and Diagrams The journey to Tierra del Fuego The Piri Reis map compared to modern Patagonia, showing the straights of Magellan The Falkland Islands on the Piri Reis, compared to a modern map The journey to Antarctica Locating the Southern Cross Hong Baos journey to Australia Zhou Mans journey to Australia
  70. 70. List of Maps and Diagrams Evidence of the visit of the Chinese treasure fleet to Australia Auckland and Campbell Islands, as shown on the Jean Rotz map The journey around New Zealand The routes of Hong Bao and Zhou Man around Australia Hong Baos journey home and Zhou Mans journey through the Spice Islands
  71. 71. List of Maps and Diagrams The San Francisco Bay area, showing the winds blowing into the Sacramento River Evidence of the visit of the Chinese treasure fleet to the Americas Zhou Wens journey through the Caribbean Guadeloupe shown on the Pizzigano map, compared with a modern map Puerto Rico shown on the Pizzigano map, compared with a modern map
  72. 72. List of Maps and Diagrams The bays and inlets of Puerto Rico, depicted on the Pizzigano map The Cantino map showing the Caribbean and Florida, compared with a modern map Locations of unidentified wrecks on the route to Bimini The junks approach to Bimini and the Bimini Road Zhou Wens journey up the east coast of Florida
  73. 73. List of Maps and Diagrams The journey to Rhode Island The locations of standing stones in Massachusetts The voyage to the Azores and Cape Verde Islands The journey around Greenland Greenland shown on the Vinland map, compared to a modern map Chinese bases across the Pacific Ocean
  74. 74. List of Maps and Diagrams Solar eclipse Lunar eclipse The progression of a lunar eclipse across the Earths surface
  75. 75. ConclusionsVery glad I read the bookMany ideas in the book to make you thinkIncreased my awareness of Chinese cultureI have since started to learn Mandarin...Shows what we take for granted these daysThe Internet!Global Positioning SystemGoogle: Maps, Images, Search
  76. 76. The web site take a look if this has sparked an interestThere are web sites that attack the book.Try this for some balance:
  77. 77. These slides are available online  I have put a version of these slides on SlideShare – a free resource  Search: slideshare missenp 1421