If Mark McMenamin is correct, neither Columbus nor the Vikings were the first non-natives to set foot on the Americas. McMenamin, the Mount Holyoke geologist who last year led an expedition that discovered the oldest animal fossil found to date, may have made another discovery–one that sheds radical new light on present conceptions of the Classical world and on the discovery of the New World.
Working with computer-enhanced images of gold coins minted in the Punic/Phoenician city in North Africa of Carthage between 350 and 320 BC, (please see sketch of coin right and where the world map is supposed to have been inscribed) McMenamin has interpreted a series of designs appearing on these coins, the meaning of which has long puzzled scholars. McMenamin believes the designs represent a map of the ancient world, including the area surrounding the Mediterranean Sea and the land mass representing the Americas.
If this is true, these coins not only represent the oldest maps found to date, but would also indicate that Carthaginian explorers had sailed to the New World.
In fact, it was his interest in the Carthaginians as explorers that led McMenamin to study the coins. The Carthaginians were closely linked to the Phoenicians of the Middle East in terms of origin, culture, language, and naval enterprise. Both peoples are widely credited with significant sailing exploits through the Mediterranean, to the British Isles, and along the coast of Africa.
Read more: Did the Phoenicians Discover the New World? http://phoenicia.org/america.html#ixzz2oCwZQMwf
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