Friday, January 13, 2012

The Oronteus Finaeus Map of 1532

This map was found in the Library of Congress, Washington DC in 1960 by Charles Hapgood. It was drawn by Oronteus Finaeus in 1531. Charles Hapgood displayed a map showing the mythical continent of Atlantis in the center of the Atlantic Ocean. Based on the fact that the Atlantis continent had a superficial resemblance to Antarctica, the conclusion was made that Antarctica must be the lost continent of Atlantis. This fact itself is a mystery, since the continent of Antarctica was not supposed to have been discovered for another 200 years or so.
As with the Piri Reis map, Antarctica is shown to be ice free with flowing rivers, drainage patterns and clean coastline. Some of the mountain ranges shown were only discovered recently. The deep interior didn't show any rivers or mountains which some believe means it was already covered in ice at the time. The Oronteus Finaeus map is more accurate than any other map of the same time. In fact, it is more accurate than any map made anywhere up to the year 1800.

Although there are fairly obvious similarities between the general depiction of the southern continent by Orontius Finaeus and modern maps of Antarctica, they do not stand up to close scrutiny; indeed, there are more differences than similarities, much as one would expect from a map drawn without genuine knowledge of the southern continent! To show that Orontius’s Terra Australis corresponds to the outline of Antarctica, it was necessary for Hapgood to make some changes. Just as with his treatment of Piri’s map, Hapgood also had to shuffle whole sections of coastline to make them fit. It is unclear how the hypothesised original map had become fragmented and wrongly recombined; it is even more unclear how the fringe writers can go on to claim that various geographical features are shown in their correct places and at the correct scale.

Another tidbit of proof is the Ross sea. Today huge glaciers feed into it, making it a floating ice shelf hundreds of feet thick. Yet this map and the Reis map show estuaries and rivers at the site.

In 1949 coring was done to take samples of the ice and sediment at the bottom of the Ross Sea. They clearly showed several layers of stratification, meaning the area went through several environmental changes. Some of the sediments were of the type usually brought down to the sea by rivers. Tests done at the Carnegie Institute in Washington DC, which date radioactive elements found in sea water, dated the sediments at about 4000 BC, which would mean the area was ice free with flowing rivers up until that time - exactly what is recorded on the Reis and Finaeus maps.

The main question is: How Oronteus Finaeus managed to do that?...

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