Minds in Ablation Part Five: Charting Imaginary Worlds

Copyright © 1998, 1999 by Sean Mewhinney (df736@freenet.carleton.ca).

Charting Imaginary Worlds:
Pole Shifts, Ice Sheets, and Ancient Sea Kings:
A Digression that Simply Got Out of Hand

Note: Part 5 was originally posted to a discussion list as "Early Maps," and then reprinted in Aeon V:3 (1999) under the present title. In the last two sentences to the introduction to that version, I wrote: "I haven't spelled it out, because I haven't the time to do the theme justice, but this inquiry isn't merely about cartography. It hasn't escaped me that projection is more than an exercise in geometry, or that one's mental map of the world is a map of the self-- or its mirror image."

Ginenthal tells us that he got the idea in the first place from reading about early maps. "Ever since publishing Carl Sagan and Immanuel Velikovsky...in...1990...I have stated my belief that the icecaps of Greenland and Antarctica were created recently -- a belief based on information from ancient maps and the discoveries made by Arlington Mallery and Charles H. Hapgood." 1 According to these authors, ancient maps accurately depict Greenland and Antarctica in an ice-free state. However, the maps in existence are neither ancient nor accurate. Rather, Mallery and Hapgood claim that they were compiled from accurate source maps drawn thousands of years ago. In order to support this claim, they have to make a number of assumptions which, taken together, are remotely improbable, quite aside from what we know today about paleoclimatology.

There is something seemingly sober and scientific about maps, something that lends solidity to the world of the imagination. Robert Louis Stevenson drew the map of Treasure Island before he wrote the story. "The shape of it took my fancy beyond expression; it contained harbours that pleased me like sonnets...... as I paused upon my map of Treasure Island, the future characters of the book began to appear there visibly ... they passed to and fro... on these few square inches of a flat projection. The next thing I knew I had some paper before me and was writing a list of chapters." 2 There are maps of Middle Earth, but you can travel there only in the mind. 3 Comyns Beaumont mapped biblical Jerusalem to Edinburgh, and Memphis to Glastonbury -- quite literally. Beaumont could not accept that the Jews, whom he despised, were the central figures in the story of the Bible. The "original" lands of Palestine and Egypt lay in his own beloved Britain, the cradle of world civilization. Likewise, he transferred Assyria, Babylonia, Phoenicia, and Greece, along with Atlantis, to Northern Europe. But of course, that was before a comet rearranged the landscape! 4 In the same way that a butterfly's wing can be mapped to an ink blot, one stretch of coastline can be mapped to another. Which is pretty much what Mallery and Hapgood were doing.

Mallery was an amateur archeologist who believed that North America had been extensively colonized by Vikings, Celts, and other Old World peoples. He believed that they had in their possession accurate maps of the world: "The longitude of a thousand or more points on the coasts and in the interior of North America, Europe, and Asia is platted on them with an accuracy not attained by European cartography until the eighteenth century," 5 with the invention of the chronometer. These maps were so accurate, in fact, that they could not have been drawn by any of the known seafaring nations of antiquity. How did he arrive at these conclusions?

Mallery was looking at the same crude 16th-century maps as everyone else, but he saw in them things that no one else could see. He frequently uses the word "decipher" to describe his process of analysis and reconstruction, implying that he possessed the key that would unlock secret meanings concealed in these maps. According to Mallery, what appeared to be "meaningless scrawls" or "inventions of the imagination" were actually derived from various accurate source maps and combined by compilers who did not understand how to read the originals. To Mallery,

it became obvious that each map or chart was an assembly of several charts and/or maps of contiguous areas and that the separate charts or maps combined to produce a single map were not all drawn to the same zero point...

or to the same scale, or on the same projection. 6 Let us see how he applied these principles in his reconstructions in an actual case.

The Zeno map of the north Atlantic region was published in 1558 as an illustration in the narrative of the voyages, shipwrecks, battles, and other adventures of two Venetian noblemen, the brothers Zeno, nearly two centuries earlier. The story is in places rather fanciful, most of the place names are otherwise unknown, and many consider it a hoax. The map, in any case, is peculiar. In common with most early maps of the north, it shows Greenland lying much too far to the east, and connected to the European land mass north of Scandinavia, as a peninsula. Unlike earlier maps, it depicts a number of large, nonexistent islands, with names like Frisland, Icaria, Stotiland, and Drogeo, crowding the waters of the north Atlantic between Greenland and Britain.

Unfortunately, Mallery shows us only his doctored versions of the Zeno map. (The maps in his 1979 paperback are small white-on-black reproductions of very poor quality.) In one reproduction, Icaria has been nearly doubled in size, rotated slightly, and moved about ten degrees east. This, Mallery assures us, is really Iceland. The still considerably larger island clearly marked as Iceland, he says, is actually Gunnbjorn's Skerries, a Viking landmark said to lie about halfway on the sailing route from Iceland to Greenland. In his other reproduction of the map, only Greenland and this other large island are shown, with an overlay of the Greenland coast taken from modern maps, positioned so that it bisects the island Mallery calls Gunnbjorn's Skerries. The northern part of the island is shown as part of Greenland, and the southern part lies in the sea to the east.

Mallery explains that the coastline of Greenland "differs radically" from that depicted on the map because the topography has been "drastically altered... by erupting volcanoes, earthquakes, and icecaps." 7 As he tells it,

Sometime after Greenland was settled by the Norse, the advancing Greenland icecap covered the central and southern Skerries. Sinking under the weight of the glacier, the southern Skerries finally became submerged in Denmark Strait... 8

The strangest thing in this is Mallery's inset listing the latitudes and longitudes of 33 place names on the Greenland coast which he claims to have identified on the "Gunnbjorn's Skerries" of the Zeno map, even though they share no features in common.

He tells us that "one of the highest peaks of the Skerries towered more than 2 miles above sea level," 9 but he doesn't tell us how he knows that. But a skerry, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is just "A rugged insulated sea-rock or stretch of rocks, covered by the sea at high water or in stormy weather; a reef." Mallery's skerries are a veritable pocket Atlantis, meeting a suitably dramatic end in this word picture:

Great tidal waves swept the shores of the North Sea as the southern Skerries slid into the widening abyss created by a gigantic submarine crack or fault in... Denmark Strait. 10

But there are a few other pieces of surplus real estate in the Zeno map to account for. There is the almost equally large island of Frisland, hundreds of miles further to the southeast, which Mallery confessed himself unable to identify. It, too, as well as a number of smaller islands, could be "submerged in the waters of the sea ... or ... concealed by the Greenland ice sheet." 11

Mallery maintained that this and the other early maps which he subjected to his reconstructions were so accurate that they could have been produced "only by a civilization with experts in shipbuilding, seamanship, exploration, surveying, hydrography, astronomy, higher mathematics, detailed knowledge of the outside world, and... well-organized government." He even wondered whether they had been aided by the use of airplanes! 12 Yet even with all the fudge factors he used -- tremendous vertical movements of the earth's crust, great climatic changes, the assumption that each map could be composed from as many as four separate originals, and the freedom to move various features around and change the scale and projection, he still obtained remarkably bad fits, and I cannot regard his attempts as anything but self-delusion.

His treatment of other early maps, and his ideas of glaciation, isostatic loading, the causes of climatic change, and the shape of the earth are equally strange. Nevertheless, Mallery did influence a few other people, including several officers of the U. S. Navy Hydrographic Office, who came forward to endorse his reconstructions. He also made a powerful impression on Charles Hapgood, when he saw the transcript of a radio broadcast on Mallery's interpretation of the Piri Re'is map. Drawn in 1513 for a Turkish admiral, this map shows the east coast of South America extending far to the east below Africa. Mallery interpreted this section of the map as representing the Queen Maud coast of Antarctica, shown free of pack ice.

Hapgood had been working for several years on a theory of pole shift as an explanation of ice ages. It was first published in 1958 as Earth's Shifting Crust. 13 In Hapgood's theory, the elevation of circumpolar ice sheets builds up faster than it can be compensated by isostatic subsidence of the lithosphere. Centrifugal force tends to pull the ice sheets toward the equator, and with them, the crust beneath them. Every few thousand years, when the ice reaches sufficient thickness, this force reaches a threshold where it overcomes the friction between crust and mantle (a quantity which Hapgood considered negligible, and did not attempt to estimate). The crust suddenly slides over the mantle, "moving over the soft inner body, much as the skin of an orange, if it were loose, might shift over the inner part of the orange, all in one piece." 14 (It is not recommended that you try this before first peeling the orange.) The ice sheets move outside the polar regions and melt. New ice sheets begin to form within the new polar circles. In the revised edition, The Path of the Pole, Hapgood abandoned this mechanism as inadequate. He offered nothing to replace it, only claiming vaguely that "Advancing knowledge... now suggests that the forces responsible for shifts of the crust lie at some depth within the earth rather than on its surface."15 The idea that Antarctica had been sufficiently free of ice for ancient man to map its coasts seemed to fit right in to this, and Hapgood enthusiastically applied himself to the analysis of early maps along the same lines as Mallery.

For the next seven years, Hapgood and the students in his college geography classes occupied themselves drawing grids, making trigonometric calculations, taking compasses to globes, and moving transparent overlays around on maps, trying to minimize positional errors of the features they thought they recognized. The results were published as Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings, which has become something of a cult classic. But at the end of all these labors, Hapgood had only succeeded in putting his self-delusion on a more rigorously quantitative basis than Mallery's.

Consider his analysis of the Piri Re'is map. Hapgood is continually assuring us that this map is too accurate to have been charted by 16th-century navigators. He re-plots the map on four separate grids. Two of them are parallel, but offset a few degrees and drawn on different scales. A third grid is turned clockwise nearly 79 degrees from these two. The fourth grid is turned counterclockwise nearly 40 degrees, and drawn on about half the scale of the main grid. Two different equators are used in different parts of the main grid, so all together there are five different equators on the map. In addition, Hapgood makes the following assumptions. Three major omissions have been made: (A) a loss of 4.5 degrees of longitude on the north coast of South America, (B) a loss of about 900 miles on the east coast of South America, and (C) omission of the Drake Passage between South America and the Palmer Peninsula, amounting to 9 degrees of latitude. In spite of these omissions, the Amazon River is drawn twice. The Queen Maud coast of Antarctica is placed about 10 degrees too far west. After the appropriate corrections have been made for this complex framework of assumptions, he still finds residual positional errors of up to 12 degrees in longitude and 18.5 degrees in latitude. 16

Nor is this all. Not far inland from the east coast of South America, the mapmaker has drawn a stylized mountain range. The space to the left of it is filled with inscriptions. Hapgood identifies these mountains as the Andes. He asks, "...what is the probability that a cartographer, by pure invention, would place an enormous range of mountains on the western side of South America, where one actually exists?" 17 If this is the western side of the continent, one might ask why it appears to be over a thousand miles too far to the east, and why, near the southern end of this mountain range, a river arises on the western side and curves around it to flow eastward. In fact, the west coast is not shown anywhere on the map, and Hapgood could have dispensed with one of his four grids. The smooth brown line beneath the mountain range is not a coast. All the coasts are outlined in black ink, in jagged lines representing the inlets and promontories. The accuracy of this map resides entirely in Hapgood's imagination.

Hapgood's single most impressive piece of evidence is the Orontius Finaeus (Oronce Fine) world map of 1531. It shows an enormous supercontinent centered approximately on the south pole, which Hapgood takes to be a distorted representation of Antarctica, copied from an ancient map. His detailed reconstruction is just as complex as his interpretation of the Piri Re'is map. It assumes that: 1) the 80th parallel has been confused with the Antarctic circle, exaggerating the scale by a factor of 2.35; 2) the Palmer Peninsula has been omitted, due to lack of space; 3) the position of the pole has been shifted about 7 and a half degrees; and 4) the map has been replotted on a different projection system, effectively rotating the coasts about 20 degrees out of alignment.

As before, Hapgood's attestations to the map's "amazing accuracy" are belied by his table of positional errors for the features he identifies on it. They reach as much as 8 and a half degrees in latitude and 30 or 40 degrees in longitude.18 In the second edition, he even added this note: "In some cases the identifications of geographical features in the following tables are merely suggestive. They are rendered probable by their positions on the grids rather than by strict physical resemblances." 19 Also in the revised edition is a figure superimposing his adjusted outline of Fine's Terra Australis on the Antarctic coast. 20 While there is a general correspondence between the two, more often than not one overlaps the other by, typically, about 3 degrees of latitude, except for the missing Palmer Peninsula. Fine's land mass is much more deeply indented. The details do not match well, and I do not believe Hapgood's identifications of geographic features are valid. Still, the general correspondence in shape, and the fact that Fine's continent is centered approximately on the pole, are suggestive. But if one reflects that Terra Australis bears an even closer resemblance to Africa than Antarctica, that correspondence is much less persuasive. David Jolly calls it, fairly, I think, an "amorphous blob." 21

Fine's outline of the supposed Antarctic continent was followed by many other mapmakers, and a great southern land mass continued to appear in most world maps thereafter for the next two and a half centuries, until the voyages of Captain Cook, whose searches failed to find it. For all Hapgood's labors, he seems to have learned nothing of the historical context in which these early maps were drawn. According to him, it was only after Cook's voyages in the 1770s that "geographers began to explain the maps as the work of [earlier] geographers who had felt the need to have a land mass at the South Pole to balance off the concentration of land in the northern hemisphere." 22 This is quite wrong. It was no historical afterthought. Gerard Mercator wrote on his world map of 1569 that if the earth were to remain in equilibrium, the land masses of the northern hemisphere must be balanced "under the Antarctic Pole [by] a continent so great that with the southern parts of Asia, and the new India or America, it should be a weight equal to the other lands." 23 As his biographer, Walter Ghim, put it, "It could not be less in its geometric proportions, size, weight, and gravity than the other two [the Old World and the Americas], otherwise the world would be unable to remain balanced on its axis." 24

Half a century earlier, Copernicus had argued in his De Revolutionibus that though the distribution of land and sea was irregular, the irregularities must balance, so that the earth's center of volume and center of mass coincide. Therefore "we need not be surprised at the existence of antipodes... For geometrical reasoning compels us to assume that America is situated diametrically opposite to India." 25 Copernicus wished to show that because the earth was balanced, it was suited to rotation.

The authors of classical antiquity disagreed as to the relative proportions of land and sea, but most held that their distribution must be balanced or symmetrical. They knew that the earth was a sphere, frigid and uninhabitable at the poles, and scorching hot at the equator, which they took to be uninhabitable also. The lands they knew -- Europe, Asia, and Africa -- were surrounded by ocean to the east, west, and north, and perhaps also to the south. Many asserted that there must be land in the antipodes, on the principle of symmetry. In Macrobius' conception there were four great land masses, two in the northern hemisphere and two in the southern, separated by two great intersecting girdles of water, one around the equator, the other running from pole to pole. 26 Of about 150 recorded manuscripts of Macrobius dating from 1200 to 1500 A.D., nearly 100 contain a circular world map illustrating this scheme. 27 A crude outline of the three known continents occupies the northern hemisphere. It is separated by an equatorial belt of the ocean from a land mass of equal size in the antipodes, drawn with an irregular but obviously arbitrary outline, labelled "nobis incognita" (unknown to us) -- our first amorphous blob. (See Fig. 1.) 28

Even more influential upon Renaissance geographical thought was the world map in the atlas appended to Ptolemy's Geography. There, an alternative idea of a southern land mass is presented. In this map an unbroken expanse of land bearing the legend "Terra Incognita" joins Africa to east Asia, making the Indian Ocean a landlocked sea. Ptolemy called it the Sinus Magnus. (See Fig. 2.)

The idea of a landlocked Indian Ocean was exploded in 1499 when Vasco da Gama returned from India around the Cape of Good Hope. But this did not kill off the idea of a southern land mass. The years between Columbus' discovery of the New World in 1492 and the Magellan expedition's circumnavigation of the globe in 1522 were exciting ones for geographic speculation. Each new discovery fed the public demand for world maps showing the regions that were unknown to Ptolemy. The traditional Ptolemaic atlas not only omitted the western hemisphere, it did not show anything above 63 degrees north or below about 16 degrees south. There was little reason to do so as long as it was thought that great heat or cold, or the vastness of the ocean, would prevent anyone from travelling beyond these bounds. The mapmaker who showed the whole surface of the earth had the choice of whether to leave the unexplored regions blank, or fill them in with speculation and imagination.

Columbus thought he was sailing among islands a short distance off the coast of Asia. Separate stretches of coastline were charted in successive voyages of discovery. Were they joined together, or separated by straits through which one could pass to Asia? In these early years, Spain and Portugal maintained a strict policy of secrecy. Foreigners could be imprisoned for trying to smuggle charts out of the country, or making indiscreet inquiries of returning pilots. The mapmakers of other countries had to depend on rumors, or vague and untrustworthy popular accounts, supplemented by their imaginations. For decades, the coast of North America was shown on many maps, including those of Oronce Fine, as an eastward extension of Asia.

That these maps had multiple sources is not at issue. They did. It also rarely happened that maps were combined without proper adjustment of the scale. 29 So what's wrong with Hapgood's assumptions and his methods? First of all, there is selection. Hapgood had hundreds of old maps to choose from. Not only does he exercise selection over what maps to use, but over which features to attend to, and which to ignore. He picks out some details and ignores others. If you pick a short enough stretch of coastline, you can see a general resemblance to a short stretch from any other coastline, if taken in isolation. By multiplying the number of separate grids and allowing yourself the greatest liberty in adjusting the orientation, scale, and system of projection, you can reduce the positional errors in corresponding features, improving the match. But that does not prove that the map was in fact constructed in just this way. Hapgood excuses any residual errors as the result of poor copying or geological change. He excludes the possibility that the source maps may be modern, and that the errors may lie in the originals themselves. He also excludes the possibility that mapmakers used speculation or imagination to fill in the gaps in their knowledge. As Jolly said, "Hapgood operated by concatenating unproven assumptions." 30 It is almost a formula for misleading oneself.

Hapgood assumes that on the Piri Re'is map, joining the east coast of South America to a southern coast running eastward was a compiler's mistake. But the Piri Re'is map is not the only such example to survive from these years before Magellan's voyage. The Giovanni Contarini map of 1506 shows South America with an east coast that turns sharply eastward below the Tropic of Capricorn, down to the bottom of the map at about 36 degrees south. As on the Oronce Fine map, North America is an extension of Asia. Even Central America is missing, and the lightly sketched, obviously conjectural west coast of South America runs southwest down to about 50 degrees south latitude, then turns due west. Clearly, Contarini imagined the continent as a great southern land mass, with a breadth of at least 110 degrees longitude, but a land mass that bears no resemblance to the Antarctica we know. (See Fig. 3.) 31

On the Lopo Homem world map of of 1519, South America is joined to Asia by a continuous southern expanse of land.32 He has taken Ptolemy's Sinus Magnus and enlarged it to take in the South Atlantic, but left it still closed on the east. (See Fig. 4.) Homem was Portugal's Master of Sea Charts. The Portuguese navigator Duarte Pacheco Pereira believed that the sea was surrounded by land, not the reverse. In his Esmeraldo de Situ Orbis, written around 1505, he described the Americas as a continuous land mass of such "greatness and length that on either side [of the equator] its end has not been seen or known, so that it is certain that it goes around the whole globe." 33 The southern coast in the Piri Re'is map was no compiler's mistake. It was the cartographic expression of one school of geographic speculation -- one that was favorable to Portuguese commercial and territorial ambitions at the expense of Spain, which was seeking a westward route to the Indies.34

Other, equally speculative mapmakers of the time envisioned a southern land mass standing apart as a separate continent. Noting that "many world maps of the 16th Century show an antarctic continent," 35 Hapgood lists a number of such maps in a footnote. The earliest of the lot dates from 1527, five years after news of Magellan's feat. Hapgood claims that "A comparison of all the versions suggests that there may have been one or two original versions, drawn according to different projections, which were copied and recopied with emendations according to the ideas of different cartographers." 36 Further, he claims that all these maps make the "identical error" in scale, 37 squeezing the Antarctic continent against the Strait of Magellan. "Since every Renaissance map of the Antarctic seems to reflect this mistake," Hapgood considers it "highly likely" that the "error" goes back to Hellenistic Alexandria, or even more remote antiquity. 38 The "observation" is false, and the explanation, a fantasy. In fact, there is great diversity in the early prototypes, especially in the pre-Magellan era. The earliest depictions of an Antarctic continent are each different in size and shape.

Francesco Rosselli produced two world maps in 1508. There are only minor differences between the two. In both, South America extends much further from east to west than from north to south, reaching scarcely further south than Africa, and North America is shown as the eastward prolongation of Asia. The coastline of a southern continent passes through 120 degrees of longitude below Africa. Obviously conjectural, it trails off at both ends. The northernmost bulge lies east of the Cape of Good Hope on one map, to the west on the other. (See Figs. 5A and 5B.) 39

Then there are the gores of a globe found among the papers of Leonardo da Vinci but not drawn by him, dating to between 1512 and 1514. On it a small Antarctic continent reaches as far as 30 degrees from the south pole between Africa and South America, and less than five degrees toward Asia. (See Fig. 6.) 40

In 1515 appeared the first of a series of globes by Johann Schöner of Nuremberg, depicting a circumantarctic continent in the form of a crescent or fishhook, encircling a vast bay. It reaches to between the 40th and 50th parallels, except in a narrow opening to the sea below Asia. A narrow strait separates it from South America at 45 degrees south latitude. (See Fig. 7A.) A pamphlet published by Schöner in the same year makes it clear that he based his conceptions on a vague account of a Portuguese voyage in another pamphlet entitled "New Tidings from the Land of Brasil." The outline of Schöner's fishhook continent varies slightly on the versions of 1520 and later years. (See Fig. 7B.) 41 Both the Schöner and da Vinci globes are reproduced in one of Hapgood's sources, Nordenskiöld's Facsimile-Atlas to the Early History of Cartography, so he could not have been unaware of them.

Another conception of a southern land mass is shown on gores for a globe of unknown authorship, sometimes called the "Rosenthal" or "Munich" gores, originally attributed to Schöner, and printed in Nuremberg sometime around 1540. It consists of a half dozen enormous islands packed close together around the pole. (See Fig. 8.) 42

And then we have the gores engraved by Francesco Ghisolfi. His southern continent includes Tierra del Fuego, but is mostly contained within the Antarctic circle, and deeply indented below east Asia, so it qualifies as a relatively petite example. (See Fig. 9.) 43

The success of the Magellan expedition brought a better understanding of the immensity of the ocean separating Asia from the New World, of the true size of the earth, and the true proportions of land and water, if not yet an appreciation of how unequally distributed they are. For while land and sea are about evenly balanced in the northern hemisphere, in the south there is about ten times as much sea as land. The path of the celebrated voyage was prominently traced on many world maps thereafter, but that was not its only effect on cartography. It still left a vast unexplored area to the south large enough to hold more than one undiscovered continent, as in fact it did. Tierra del Fuego, followed by Magellan for more than 200 miles, was generally believed to be part of the coastline of a southern continent, and most maps thereafter show it as such. Later representations were increasingly conventionalized.

Oronce Fine's version of the southern continent was widely copied. Mercator followed it closely in his 1538 world map. Later he drew his own outline. Writing of Mercator's map of 1569, Hapgood claims that "Mercator made constant use of ancient source maps available to him. What eventually happened to these maps we do not know, but we are able to distinguish, in a number of cases, where he depended on them and where he was influenced by contemporary explorations. For the Antarctic, of course, he had to depend on the ancient sources." 44 (One of Hapgood's students even transferred to the University of Amsterdam for a year to search for these imaginary source maps, which apparently "perished".) 45 Hapgood was able to make such distinctions only by completely ignoring Mercator's own words, for the map is filled with copious inscriptions naming, quoting, and weighing his sources. W. A. R. Richardson has discussed them quite thoroughly. 46 Specifically, for the promontory below Java labelled "Beach" (pronounced bay-och) and "Maletur," Mercator relied on Marco Polo, Book 3, chapters 11 and 12, and Ludovico Varthema, chapter 27, relating a conversation with an Indian pilot. For the coast southeast of the Cape of Good Hope labelled "Psitacorum Regio" ("region of parrots"), he relied on the confused account of a Portuguese voyage in a well-known letter known as Il Cretico, which, evidently referring to Brazil, says, "they sailed along its coast for more than 2,000 miles without coming to the end of it." And for a promontory in the south Atlantic, he used a passage in Martin Fernandez de Enciso's Suma de Geographia, probably referring to Tristan da Cunha. Mercator connected these three points with an enlarged depiction of Tierra del Fuego, and voila -- a continent. His version replaced Fine's as the model for the "unknown southern continent," to the extent that in 1609, the skeptical Bishop Joseph Hall could write that "all the Geographers describe it after one forme and site." 47

The great supercontinent continued to appear on maps for the next two and a half centuries, but its career was one of gradual dismemberment and slow decline, as the circumnavigation of one after another land mass -- Tierra del Fuego, followed by New Guinea, Australia, and New Zealand -- resulted in its amputation from the shrinking body of the giant.

In 1754, at a late stage in this death of a thousand cuts, the speculative French cartographer Philippe Buache brought a late innovation to the depiction of the southern lands. In the Buache map, New Zealand, coasted on the west, but not yet circumnavigated, is shown as the northernmost point of the larger of two land masses encircling a conjectured polar sea, with two narrow openings to the oceans. It is somewhat reminiscent of Schöner's fishhook continent, which had only one such opening. This too is grist for Hapgood's mill. Hapgood's book led off with what he considered to be his strongest cards. Afterwards, with increasing recklessness, he threw in everything but the kitchen sink. To support his pole-shift theory, he wanted to have evidence from both Arctic and Antarctic lands in every stage of glaciation and deglaciation, and he stretched his evidence to fit.

It seems that Hapgood's vanished civilization, of which no material trace remains, was extraordinarily long-lived, for "thousands of years may have elapsed between the drafting of the earliest and latest of the original maps of different parts of Antarctica." If the Piri Re'is and Oronce Fine maps showed Antarctica without shelf ice, the Buache map showed it "when there was no ice at all." Hapgood invites us to compare it with a map of the subglacial topography of Antarctica. "If an apparent error in the orientation of the continent to other land masses is disregarded, it is quite easy to imagine that this map shows the waterways connecting the Ross, Wedell, and Bellinghausen seas." 48 One has to disregard a few other things as well. First, there is the scale, still much too large, and the absence of the Palmer Peninsula. But we should be used to that by now. Disregard also the numerous small islands on the seismic survey map. Then in both cases we are left with two islands, one larger than the other, but not of the same shapes, and not in quite the same relative positions, or in the same proportions. On the Buache map, one island is five or six times as large as the other; on the modern map, perhaps 35 times as large. But finally, one has to disregard the fact that Buache told us exactly what he was doing, right on the map itself, which is covered with inscriptions.

The legend in the left-hand margin relates incidents from Bouvet's voyage of 1739, in the course of which he sighted Cap de la Circoncision at 54 degrees south, below Africa. Buache makes this the headland of the smaller of his two islands, next to one of the openings of his polar sea, where Bouvet saw many great icebergs. The other opening, west of South America, is placed where Sharpe and Davis reported icebergs in 1687. An inscription on the map itself reads:

Suspected Antarctic Lands. The terrestrial basin of their rivers, being larger than that of the Arctic glacial sea, may contain rivers as considerable as those of Siberia which furnish ices from the north, the flow of which is effected through the two passages from Iceland and the new strait discovered by the Russians. [Bering Strait, discovered in 1741] There must be here and along the coasts a chain of mountains like the Cordilleras or elevated lands from which flow the rivers which furnish ices to the conjectured inner sea.

From analogy with what was then known or believed of the Arctic ocean, Buache's reasoning went like this: Such enormous icebergs could only be produced by a frozen sea. To freeze, it must be supplied with freshwater from great rivers. Great rivers must have a vast drainage basin, so mountains on the northern coasts of the southern lands must direct all drainage inward toward the frozen sea. He enlarged upon these theories in a writing which appeared in English in the Gentleman's Magazine for January, 1763. 49 Far from being taken from some unmentioned and now-lost ancient source map, the only thing in which he thought he could be mistaken was "in the bearings of the coast." The same Buache left a number of maps of North America depicting a nonexistent sea connecting the Pacific with Hudson Bay, based on fraudulent traveller's tales. 50 Buache was the great theoretical geographer of the eighteenth century. In the words of Johnathan Potter, he was "responsible for some of the most bizarre and fanciful cartographic outlines ever published." 51 Jolly calls him a "notorious charlatan." 52

In a late chapter, Hapgood turns to the north for maps which he claims represent three different glacial stages -- preglacial, glaciated to the maximum extent, and in a late stage of glacial retreat -- supposedly drawn at different times over the course of thousands of years. In doing so he caught himself up in contradictions in his reading of topographical signs, preferring sometimes to read mountains as mountains, and water as water, and sometimes to read them as ice.

Greenland in the Zeno map is shown covered with mountains, from which rivers flow to the sea. Hapgood allows the possibility that "The mountains, valleys, and rivers shown in Greenland... represent the medieval cartographic imagination." 53 But at least in 1966, he preferred to accept them here at face value as accurately depicting the island in an ice-free state. I would point out that while the area of Greenland is almost 85% ice-covered, the coastline is rugged, mountainous, and mostly ice-free, in about the same proportion. It is also deeply incised with fjords, and in the summer, meltwater streams do run down to the sea. The first transect of Greenland was not made until 1888, and then only in the south. 54 The Norse settlers never penetrated the interior, and Europe had lost contact with them centuries before. So it is not unreasonable that a cartographer should show the island covered with mountains and rivers.

But when he turns to Greenland in a Ptolemaic map of the north, obviously based on the same model as Greenland in the Zeno map, and showing mountains in the same places, Hapgood calls it ice! The reproductions are only 10 pages apart in Hapgood's book, and the close resemblance is so obvious that Hapgood even calls attention to it. The rivers and promontories even bear the same names (which seem to have been made up, according to Nansen). 55 The justification for this is that a different topographical convention is used in the Ptolemaic map. The Zeno map represents mountains with the familiar inverted V's. The Ptolemaic map is illuminated in various colors on vellum. 56 This is the way Hapgood describes it: "The ice is artistically suggested -- there even seeming to be a sheen such as might be produced by the reflection of sunlight from the ice surface." 57 Hapgood concedes that some of these topographical markings correspond quite accurately to the positions of mountains and highlands. But he stresses that there are no mountains where they are shown in southern Sweden and northern Poland, and he prefers to see them as rapidly melting remnant glaciers at the end of the ice age about 10,000 years ago, while the Greenland ice sheet was supposedly growing, according to his theory. But he fudges the issue by saying, "It is natural enough that the glaciers... should have lingered longest in the mountainous areas..." 58 This argument is undercut by a modern map of the retreat of the Fennoscandian ice sheet he included just a few pages later, showing that the ice retreated in a series of concentric rings, reconstructed from the positions of moraines, and varves deposited by glacial meltwater. 59 When most of Scandinavia was already free of ice, there was none left south of the Baltic. Hapgood included this glacial map as support for interpreting the Baltic sea in the Andrea Benincasa map as an ice sheet, but somehow managed to suppress it from consciousness when discussing the Ptolemaic map. If not all the mountains are accurately placed, many bear the notation "montes," and to interpret them as ice requires more mental contortions than most people can comfortably bear.

In 1979, he added a new kink to his interpretation of the Zeno map. Because of the weight of ice pressing down upon it, a large part of central Greenland is below sea level. A modern map of the subglacial topography shows Greenland as a broad ring around a central gulf opening to the sea in the northwest. 60 Having seen it, Hapgood decided that the east and west coasts of the Zeno map were taken from different source maps, each with a different scale and orientation. The west coast, you see, "extends northward only to the point where the sub-glacial strait existed when there was no icecap in Greenland." 61 This makes no sense, for if there were no ice sheet, there would be no "strait", and no central depression. To fit the map to his new hypothesis, Hapgood had to forget these words he had written in 1966: "It is not impossible that if the original map was made when Greenland was ice-free, the region was then standing higher relative to sea level. Later, with the imposition of a very thick ice cap (more than a mile thick) the land might be expected to sink under the weight enough to bring it below sea level." 62

Some people have a gift for seeing the fantastic in the ordinary. Once you start looking at the world that way, it's hard to stop. The "remarkable" Hadji Ahmed map of 1559 has a rather standard southern supercontinent, although Hapgood found its shape "hardly recognizable." But another detail caught his eye: "...the suggestion of a land bridge connecting Alaska and Siberia. This land bridge actually existed in the so-called Ice Age. The map suggests that the land bridge was a broad one, perhaps a thousand miles across." 63 Actually, it's much more than that. It spans 30 degrees of latitude, or about 2,000 miles. He notes that "...the accuracy of longitude.... declines rapidly with distance from the [prime] meridian," located at about 20 degrees west longitude. To Hapgood, "This increased inaccuracy [in longitude] with distance from the prime meridian indicates an error in the projection... It may merely be another case of imposing a projection on a map that was originally drawn on an entirely different projection." 64

These two facts are directly related, and they have quite a different, and much more prosaic explanation. As every schoolboy knows, Columbus thought he had to sail only a short distance west to reach Asia. Ptolemy had exaggerated the width of the Eurasian land mass by about 50 degrees. Now if you look at the Hadji Ahmed map you may notice that the Kamchatka Peninsula is missing. On the map, Singapore, at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, and the northernmost point in the Gulf of California are separated by only 72 degrees of longitude, while in reality they are 142 degrees apart. The Pacific Ocean is much too narrow. In other words, about 70 degrees of the earth's true extent from east to west are missing from the map. It is as though Siberia and Canada were shoved together so that they overlapped, from the eastern border of Alaska to a point west of the Kamchatka Peninsula.

The Hadji Ahmed map represents a late stage of development in the cartographic representation of North America between its first depictions and the configuration adopted by most mapmakers in the second half of the sixteenth century, which separate Asia and America by a conjectured strait which would provide the sought-for northwest passage. These northern coastlines were yet unexplored -- the Bering Strait was not discovered until almost 200 years later. The cartographic evolution of North America and its relation to Asia can be traced in some of the very maps used by Hapgood, including those of Oronce Fine. The earliest maps show North America either as isolated islands (the Lenox globe, 1503-1507?; Schoener, 1515, 1520), or as an eastward extension of Asia (Contarini, 1506; Ruysch, 1507; Rosselli, 1508). At a later stage, it is shown connected to South America, but still attached to Asia (Fine, 1531, 1534). Mercator (1538) shows it separated from Asia by a broad strait to the west, and on the north by a narrow strait from an enormous Arctic peninsula protruding from Russia. The Rosenthal/Munich gores make the Arctic land mass an extension of Asia running all the way to Greenland, so that Asia is further east than North America, and retain the narrow northern strait between the two. In the Hadji Ahmed map, the connection between Asia and America is retained, but by then Spanish expeditions had explored the west coast of America fairly far to the north, and Baja California is clearly outlined. It is merely a late variation on a theme.

Hapgood focuses his attention on the polar regions, but he fails to mention one of the most interesting details there on many of the maps he studied, as well as others, namely, four large islands in a ring around the north pole, where no such islands exist. This is the story behind them. In 1364, a Dutchman, Jacob Cnoyen, travelled to Bergen. There, at the Norwegian royal court, he met an Oxford friar who claimed to have travelled five times to these islands, above the 78th parallel. His description of them, in the lost book Inventio Fortunatae, is compounded of medieval legends. From extracts we learn that the islands are rocky and surrounded by a high wall of mountains, each of the four separated from its neighbors by several tortuous channels "called `indrawing seas' because the current always flows northwards so strongly that no wind can make a ship sail back against it."65 Any ship that enters, if not driven ashore by the strong currents, is cast out into a great whirlpool in the midst of the four islands. "...Right under the Pole there lies a bare rock in the midst of the Sea. Its circumference is almost 33 French miles, and it is all of magnetic stone..... it is black and glistening." 66 Ships which have iron on board cannot return. 67 Nearly 4,000 persons who entered the indrawing seas, including part of the army of King Arthur, were never seen again. Two of the islands are inhabited, one them by pygmies.

On the strength of these charming legends Martin Behaim included the four circumpolar islands in his globe of 1492. His innovation was followed in the maps of Johann Ruysch, Oronce Fine, Mercator, in his 1569 world map, and Hadji Ahmed, among others. The islands are described in inscriptions on the Ruysch and Mercator maps, and featured in an inset on the latter. If the mapmakers of their day could give concrete form to such flimsy legends, what need is there to invent a lost civilization to account for anything found on the maps presented by Hapgood?

He assumes the existence of an ancient, worldwide civilization some five or ten thousand years ago, a "nation of seafarers" with a knowledge of spherical trigonometry and the true size of the earth, and the mechanical ingenuity required to make chronometers, who explored and charted every part of the planet. We have found no cities of these ancient people. We have no written documents from them, or any of their artifacts. Only their maps were passed down across the ages, almost to the present day, and then disappeared. They were handed down to "some such people as the Phoenicians or Minoans," 68 who passed them on to the Greeks. From the library at Alexandria they passed on to Constantinople. Some were brought to the west, in the fourth crusade or just before the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Others fell into the hands of the Turks. Columbus had such a map or maps 69, as did Oronce Fine, Mercator, Piri Re'is, Philippe Buache, and many other cartographers and navigators. Yet none of these maps can now be traced. This long chain of assumptions raises more questions than it was supposed to answer.

The Ross Sea Cores

Hapgood cites one piece of physical evidence in support of his claim of an ice-free Antarctic coast. In the late forties, several sediment cores were retrieved from deep water in the northern Ross Sea. They are among the earliest Antarctic Ocean cores. A preliminary study of the lithology of three of these cores was published by Jack Hough in 1950. Hough distinguished five sediment types in the column, including three grades of glacial marine sediments, from coarse to fine, and fine-grained, well-sorted sediments, both laminated and unlaminated. The sequence of types is broadly similar in all three cores.

Glacial marine sediments are characterized by the presence of subglacial debris, from pebbles to rock flour. Close inshore, subglacial debris may reach the sea in meltwater runoff, if temperatures are warm enough, or by melting out from the bottom of a glacier tongue or ice shelf. But at the distance of these core sites, the closest of which is more than 200 miles from the mainland, it arrives by rafting on icebergs. The probable source would be the Ross ice shelf, which drains about 30 percent of the Antarctic ice sheet, or one of several outlet glaciers on the adjacent coast of Victoria Land. The absence of glacial marine deposits in the fine-grained sediments means that no ice-rafted debris was reaching the site when those layers were being deposited. Hough assumed that this indicated "an absence of floating ice at this time," 70 and therefore warmer conditions than at present. The laminated sediments he thought might "represent seasonal outwash from glacial ice on the Antarctic continent." 71 Hough correlated the most recent layer of fine-grained sediments in core N-5, dated from about 15,000 to 6,000 years ago, with the hypsithermal.

Hapgood reproduces a brief extract from Hough's paper, but it is buried in one of his many appendices. Hapgood himself goes much further:

If sediment has been carried down by rivers and deposited out to sea it will be very fine grained, more fine grained the farther it is from the river mouth...... these kinds of sediments were found in cores taken from the Ross Sea.... The most surprising discovery was that a number of the layers were formed of fine-grained, well-assorted [sic] sediments such as is brought down to the sea by rivers flowing from temperate (that is, ice-free) lands. As you can see, the cores indicate that during the last million years or so there have been at least three periods of temperate climate in Antarctica when the shores of the Ross Sea must have been free of ice. 72

The cores indicate no such thing. A careless reader might assume that Hapgood was merely repeating conclusions reached by Hough, or matters of common scientific knowledge. But Hapgood, no geologist and no oceanographer, made this assertion on no other authority but his own. Hough himself never claimed that the fine-grained, well-sorted sediment was fluvial (borne by rivers). Indeed, he speaks of "glacial marine and nonglacial marine sediment," 73 noting the presence of foraminifera in both. In fact, there are innumerable varieties of purely marine fine-grained siliceous or calcareous oozes of biogenic origin, and sediments of clay and quartz particles of aeolian origin much finer than those carried by rivers. The fine-grained fraction of ocean sediments upslope can also be winnowed out by bottom currents and redeposited. Hapgood does not consider any of these possiblities. There have been many more sediment cores recovered from the Ross Sea in the years since, most of them much closer to land, and nobody seems to have noted any fluvial sediments in them from the last few million years. 74

Furthermore, it appears that Hough was wrong in his identification of warm and cold periods. In 1959, seven years before the publication of Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings, Charles W. Thomas published the first of a series of papers challenging Hough's conclusions. 75 Thomas studied core N-8, taken from the same area as the other three cores. He analyzed not only the lithological sequences, which correlate well with the other cores in the upper sections, but also the organic component, consisting mostly of radiolarians. He found that where the glacial-marine component of the sediments drops to zero, the radiolarians, coccoliths, and diatoms virtually disappear also. He reasoned that the persistence of pack ice throughout the summer during the periods when these almost barren fine-grained sediments were laid down would prevent icebergs from reaching the area and depositing glacial debris, and severely limit biological productivity by inhibiting photosynthesis. That means more sea ice, and cooler seas.

This is in line with the results of later studies of deep-sea sediments in the Antarctic Ocean. Cook and Hays estimate that 18,000 years ago, Antarctic summer sea ice was about ten times as extensive as at present, covering an area even greater than winter sea ice today. They date a rapid change to ice-free conditions to about 14,000 years ago. 76

There was more land ice at the time, too. From a study of sediment cores and 26 associated radiocarbon dates in the western Ross Sea, Licht et al. estimate that approximately 20,000 years ago, the grounding line of the Ross ice shelf was about 250 kilometers north of its present position near Ross Island, to which it had retreated by at least 6500 radiocarbon years ago. 77 Far from being ice-free, the coast was locked in even more solidly then than it is today. Scientists are divided as to whether Antarctica has been glaciated continuously for the last 14 million years, or merely the last 3 million.

Hapgood's claims are still being picked up and repeated by an amazing variety of occult/new-age and pseudoscientific writers -- those who place ancient Atlantis in Antarctica, or predict imminent cataclysms at the turn of the millennium. Examining those claims in detail makes one appreciate just how much mental effort must have been required to shut out the information that might have led him to more reasonable conclusions. When I first read the book some years ago with a less critical eye, it seemed entertaining. Now that I am better informed about the background of early cartography, it seems merely irritating.

And now, back to the kerplop! theory.


1. Charles Ginenthal, "Ice Core Evidence," Part I.

2. Robert Louis Stevenson, "My First Book," in Treasure Island (Oxford Univ. Press, 1985 paperback ed.), p. 194.

3. Like some other writers of fantasy, J. R. R. Tolkien "always had working maps at his side while writing." See Peter Quinones, "Mapmakers of the Marvelous: There and Back Again in Fantasy Worlds," Mercator's World Vol. 2, no. 1 (January/February, 1997), pp. 44-50.

4. Comyns Beaumont, The Riddle of Prehistoric Britain (Rider, 1946); Beaumont, Britain -- The Key to World History (Rider, 1949).

5. Arlington H. Mallery and Mary Roberts Harrison, The Rediscovery of Lost America (N. Y., Dutton, 1979) p. 153. This revision of Mallery's 1951 Lost America: The Story of Iron-Age Civilization Prior to Columbus, was issued after his death with additional material contributed by Harrison.

6. Mallery and Harrison, p. 145.

7. Ibid., p. 196.

8. Ibid., p. 156.

9. Ibid., p. 84.

10. Ibid., p. 157.

11. Ibid., p. 197.

12. Ibid., p. 206.

13. Charles H. Hapgood, Earth's Shifting Crust: A Key to Some Basic Problems of Earth Science (N.Y., Pantheon, 1958).

14. Charles H. Hapgood, Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings: Evidence of Advanced Civilization in the Ice Age (Phila., Chilton, 1966), p. 187.

15. Hapgood, The Path of the Pole (Philadelphia, Chilton, 1970), p. xi. The calculation of the forces involved was performed by James H. Campbell. It may be otherwise correct, but it is not reassuring that he understates the difference between earth's equatorial and polar radii by half. To Ginenthal's credit, he did not originate all the mistakes in "Ice Core Evidence." He picked up some of them here from Hapgood, such as substituting Celsius for Fahrenheit in Brooks, and misspelling hypsithermal.

16. Hapgood, Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings, Table 1.

17. Ibid., op. cit., revised edition (N.Y., Dutton, 1979) p. 59.

18. Op. cit., Table 2.

19. Op. cit., p. 238.

20. Op. cit., p. 78.

21. David C. Jolly, "Was Antarctica Mapped by the Ancients?," The Skeptical Inquirer Vol. 11 (Fall, 1986), p. 35.

22. Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings, (2nd ed.), p. 64.

23. R. A. Skelton, Explorers' Maps: Chapters in the Record of Geographical Discovery (N.Y., Praeger, 1960), pp. 193-194.

24. A. S. Osley, Mercator: A Monograph...with...a Translation of Ghim's Vita Mercatoris (London, Faber & Faber, 1969), p. 190.

25. Thomas Goldstein, "The Renaissance Concept of the Earth in Its Influence upon Copernicus," Terrae Incognitae Vol. 4 (1972), p. 39 (note).

26. Macrobius, Commentary on the Dream of Scipio, tr. William H. Stahl (Columbia Univ. Press, 1966), Chap. IX.

27. Rodney W. Shirley, The Mapping of the World: Early Printed World Maps 1472-1700 (London, Holland Press, 1983), p. 12.

28. Early printed versions of this map can be seen in Shirley, loc. cit,, Macrobius, tr. Stahl, p. 213, and elsewhere.

29. Skelton, p. 34, gives the examples of the early Bianco and Benincasa maps of Africa. The apparent difference in scale between the Old World and the New in the Juan de la Cosa map has also been attributed to a compiler's mistake. However, David W. Tilton argues that this may be a result of using dead reckoning in ignorance of the compass variation, in his "Latitudes, Errors and the Northern Limit of the 1508 Pinzón and Solís Voyage," Terrae Incognitae Vol. 25 (1993), pp. 25-40.

30. Jolly, op. cit., p. 36.

31. Reproductions of the Contarini map can be found in: Shirley, op. cit., Plate 28, p. 24; Kenneth Nebenzahl, Maps from the Age of Discovery: Columbus to Mercator (Times Books, 1990), Plate 14, pp. 46-47; Emerson D. Fite and Archibald Freeman, A Book of Old Maps Delineating American History (N.Y., Arno Press, 1969 reprint), no. 6, fig. on p. 22, should be on p. 18 -- the figures for numbers 6 and 7 are reversed; R. V. Tooley and Charles Bricker, Landmarks of Mapping (Elsevier, 1968), p. 196.

32. Armando Cortesao, Cartografia e cartógrafos portugueses dos séculos XV e XVI, (Lisbon, Seara Nova, 1935), Vol. 2, Plate IV.

33. Samuel Eliot Morison, Portuguese Voyages to America in the Fifteenth Century (N.Y., Octagon Books, 1965), p. 135.

34. Svat Soucek also sees the Piri Re'is map as being in the same modified Ptolemaic cartographic tradition as the Lopo Homem world map. See his Piri Reis and Turkish Mapmaking after Columbus: The Khalili Portolan Atlas (1996), pp. 52, 60, 64, 72, and 73.

35. Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings (2nd ed.), pp. 62-64.

36. Ibid., p. 73.

37. Ibid., p. 72.

38. Ibid., p. 75.

39. Shirley, op. cit., Plates 32, 33, and 61A, on pages 32, 33, and 76; Nebenzahl, op. cit., pp. 56 and 57.

40. A. E. Nordenskiöld, Facsimile-Atlas to the Early History of Cartography... (1970 Kraus reprint), fig. 45, p. 77; Richard Hennig, "The Representation on Maps of the Magalhaes Straits Before their Discovery," Imago Mundi Vol. 5 (1948), p. 36.

41. Nordenskiöld, op. cit., figs. 46 and 47, on pages 78 and 79; Fite and Freeman, op. cit., no. 10, fig. On p. 32; J. Enterline, "The Southern Continent and the False Strait of Magellan," Imago Mundi Vol. 26 (1972), pp. 49, 50.

42. Leo Bagrow and R. A. Skelton, History of Cartography (Harvard Univ. Press, 1964), fig. 40, p. 129; Tooley and Bricker, op. cit., p. 61; Fite and Freeman, op. cit., no. 11, p. 36.

43. Bagrow and Skelton, op. cit., Plate N.

44. Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings (2nd ed.), p. 91.

45. Ibid., pp. 218-219.

46. W. A. R. Richardson, "Mercator's Southern Continent: Its Origins, Influence and Gradual Demise," Terrae Incognitae Vol. 25 (1993), pp. 67-98.

47. Ibid., p. 68.

48. Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings (2nd ed.), p. 79.

49. "Geographical and Physical Observations, including a Theory of the Antarctic Regions, and the frozen Sea which they are supposed to contain, according to the Hypothesis of the celebrated M. Buache," Gentleman's Magazine (January, 1763), pp. 32-36.

50. See Percy G. Adams, Travelers and Travel Liars (N.Y., Dover, 1980), Chapter IV, "More False Topography: The Northwest Passage," pp. 64-79; Lucie Lagarde, "Le Passage du Nord-Ouest et la Mer de l'Ouest dans la Cartographie française du 18e Siècle, Contribution à l'Étude de l'Ouevre des Delisle et Buache," Imago Mundi Vol. 41 (1989), pp. 19-43. Hapgood reproduces one of these maps, but he does not discuss that feature. (See Fig. 40, on p. 56 of the 2nd ed. Of Maps...) He does discuss an inset map of the equatorial Atlantic beside it, though, referring to clearly marked flats and shoals as large islands which "submerged leaving... islets as remnants," and implies that Buache had ancient maps of the mid-Atlantic ridge. Actually, in Buache's theory, the earth was divided into a number of great basins by a framework of mountain chains which crossed the continents and oceans. On a later map, he shows an imaginary undersea mountain range connecting the east coast of Brazil with the west coast of Africa, perpendicular to the mid-Atlantic Ridge. See Numa Broc, "Les Montagnes vues par les géographes et les naturalistes de langue française au XVIIIe siècle," Comité des Travaux Historiques et Scientifiques, Mémoires de la Section de Géographie, no. 4 (1969).

51. Johnathan Potter, Country Life Book of Antique Maps (London, Country Life Books, 1988), p. 48.

52. Jolly, op. cit., p. 39.

53. Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings (1st ed.), p. 154.

54. By Fridtjof Nansen.

55. Fridtjof Nansen, In Northern Mists: Arctic Exploration in Early Times, tr. Arthur G. Chater (London, Heinemann, 1911) Vol. 2, pp. 252-253.

56. A. E. Nordenskiöld, Facsimile-Atlas to the Early History of Cartography (1970 Kraus reprint of 1889 ed.), p. 55.

57. Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings (2nd ed.), p. 137.

58. Ibid., loc. cit.

59. Ibid., Fig. 88, p. 141.

60. Ibid., Fig. 82, p. 131.

61. Ibid., p. 132.

62. Ibid., (1st ed.), p. 154.

63. Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings (2nd ed.) p. 86.

64. Ibid., loc. cit.

65. E. G. R. Taylor, "A Letter Dated 1577 from Mercator to John Dee," Imago Mundi Vol. 12 (1956), p. 57.

66. Ibid., p. 60.

67. John Boyd Thatcher, The Continent of America: Its Discovery and Baptism (Amsterdam, Meridian, 1971) p. 212.

68. Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings (2nd ed.), p. 34.

69. The Spanish government has a copy of Columbus' map, but its existence is a secret, which they maintained by bringing it to the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 and showing it to the father of James Campbell on board a replica of the Santa Maria. When he gave his recollection of this incident to Hapgood, Campbell was in his late eighties. See Appendix 21 of Hapgood, ibid., pp. 226-227.

70. Jack L. Hough, "Pleistocene Lithology of Antarctic Ocean-Bottom Sediments," Journal of Geology Vol. 58 (1950), p. 257.

71. Op. cit., loc. cit.

72. Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings (2nd ed.), p. 82.

73. Hough, op. cit., p. 256.

74. On this, also see Paul Heinrich's web page at: http://www.intersurf.com/~heinrich/FOG3.html .

75. Charles W. Thomas, "Lithology and Zoology of an Antarctic Ocean Bottom Core," Deep-Sea Research Vol. 6 (1959), pp. 5-15; "Late Pleistocene and Recent Limits of the Ross Ice Shelf," Journal of Geophysical Research Vol. 65 (1960), pp. 1789-1792; "Late Pleistocene and Recent Climates as Inferred from Ocean Bottom Cores," in Science in Alaska, Proceedings of the 15th Alaskan Science Conference (A.A.A.S., 1965), pp. 73-82.

76. David W. Cooke and James D. Hays, "Estimates of Antarctic Ocean Seasonal Sea-Ice Cover during Glacial Intervals," in Campbell Craddock, ed., Antarctic Geoscience: Symposium on Antarctic Geology and Geophysics (Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 1982), pp. 1017-1025.

77. Kathy J. Licht, Anne E. Jennings, John T. Andrews, and Kerstin M. Williams, "Chronology of Late Wisconsin Ice Retreat from the Western Ross Sea, Antarctica," Geology Vol. 24 (1996), pp. 223-226. On the web, see also Paul Heinrich's Fingerprints of the Gods: Exhibit 7, "The Ross Sea Cores."

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