Subject:      Re: American map on Phoenician coins? (was: Phonecians in America
, Iceland
From: (Yuri Kuchinsky)
Date:         1997/04/26
Message-ID:   <5jte7u$jq2$>
Newsgroups:   sci.archaeology,soc.history.ancient,sci.skeptic

Here's some more info about these coins, taken from the WWW.



New Players in Race to the New World

Peter N. Spotts, Staff Writer

Mon, 21 Oct 1996

The Christian Science Monitor

BOSTON -- Could an unknown Carthaginian captain dethrone Leif
Eriksson and Christopher Columbus as the discoverers of the New World?
     It's possible, says Mark McMenamin, a geology professor at Mt.
Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass. The hints come from
computer-enhanced images of what he says are stylized maps found on 14
Carthaginian gold coins. The coins date between 350 and 320 BC.
     Until about 1963, the images were thought to be inscriptions, but
then the ``letters'' in the inscription were found not to exist in the
Carthaginian alphabet when the coins were minted.
     Another numismatist later noted that one of the oldest Greek maps
is found on a coin minted in ancient Rhodes. Other Greek coins have
carried maps of the Ephesus region. When Dr. McMenamin looked at the
images on the Carthaginian coins from that perspective, he clearly saw
schematics of the Mediterranean region. If this view is correct, the
coins could represent the earliest evidence of mapping the
     Even more intriguing, McMenamin says, is a large land mass that
appears west of the Straight of Gibraltar on the ``maps.'' He notes
that the Carthaginians were expert seamen who had perfected nighttime
navigation and had colonized parts of the West African coast.
     He also notes that Greek historian Diodorus refers to Carthaginian
stories of a ``large island'' far to the west with mountains and
navigable rivers - a description that rules out the Azores or Canary
Islands. These explorers, McMenamin says, may have crossed the
Atlantic from the Azores to what is now Brazil. Hence, the land mass
on the coin could be the first representation of the New World.

Yuri Kuchinsky   | "Where there is the Tree of Knowledge, there
     -=-         | is always Paradise: so say the most ancient
 in Toronto      | and the most modern serpents."  F. Nietzsche
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