The Piri Reis Maps

Map The wisdow of the Ancients reaches out into all realms: certain experts affirm that our ancestors had a precise knowledge of the universe and had exactly determined the geographic outlines of the earth.

Scientists have begun to get some idea of the vast scope of ancient knowledge, due to the discovery of the maps of the Turkish Admiral Piri Reis. Why are they of such great value? Piri Reis drew them up in the 16th century, basing himself on two hundred maps of an old atlas called Bahriye or Book of the Seas. Two of the maps of Piri Reis, one dated 1513 and the other 1528, are to be found in the National Museum of Turkey.

What is surprising about these maps is that they reveal detailed geogarphical knowledge which was not available until the 19th century. The map of 1513 shows the coasts of France and Spain, a portion of South America, the Atlantic Ocean and the western part of Africa. For its part, the map of 1528 shows greenland, Labrador, a part of Canada, Newfoundland and a portion of North American coastland.

At that time, how extensive was our geographical knowledge? The explorers of the New World, (Christopher Columbus, Vespucci and Magellan) discovered the Bahamas, Porto Rico and Haiti from 1492 to 1498, the Brazilian coast in 1501 and the Pacific in 1519.

Nevertheless, Mexico which was discovered in 1520 and Peru which was discovered in 1531, are shown on the map of 1513 made by Piri Reis. The Antarctic, which was just being studied in the 19th century, and which is still the object of exploration today, is already visible on the map of 1528.