Which ethnic groups claimed to have discovered the new world

Columbus is given credit probably because it was a well-communicated, planned and documented voyage. These may not have been possible for the earlier explorers. There are not enough records that add substance to their claim and except the Phoenicians who documented their travels in useful inscriptions. very few left any written records for their efforts.
In 1872, on a plantation in Brazil, a stone, covered with strange carvings, was found in a field. The carvings were later identified as Phoenician writing, telling of a ship blown off course and landing in a strange, new land, some 2500 years earlier, after returning from a trip to the Middle East. The Phoenicians were well known as enthusiastic sailors and were one of the foremost to document their travels. They have been known to travel around the coast of Africa to the Arab lands. Also, historians agree that, in 1872, of Phoenician writing was not of a state to which the stone could have been a fake.
The term Phoenician refers to the inhabitants of the ancient cities of Tyre and Sidon and also included the Israelite tribes of Dan, Asher and Zebulon who resided near these cities along the east Mediterranean shore. These people also traded frequently along the northern African and Spanish coasts as well as the British Isles and navigated the Straits of Gibraltar called the Pillars of Hercules. Diodorus of Sicily wrote, in the first century BCE, that the Phoenicians, while sailing along the west coast of Africa, were blown off course into the ocean by a furious storm and after many days being blown about, arrived at the island and so they were the first to discover it. The only places, west of Europe that has navigable rivers are Cuba, Haiti and North and South America. (Pohl, 21). Also the early explorers tended to call even extremely large landmasses islands. (Boland, 28).
As long ago as 1913, author T. C. Johnston in his book Did The Phoenicians Discover America claimed that the American continent was discovered and settled by Phoenicians and Hebrews who kept in contact with the Middle East for some three hundred years. He claimed that North America was the Biblical Ophir, visited by the fleets of King Solomon, and he outlined some twenty-six points of comparison between the civilization of the Eastern Mediterranean homelands of the Phoenicians and Hebrews and the Mayan, Inca and Aztec civilizations in the New World.
More research by Professor Barry Fells points to Punic or Phoenician inscriptions found in New England, Ohio and West Virginia, and also the discovery of coinage and trade goods in the United States which had come from the Phoenician city of Carthage in North Africa. Numerous archaeological vestiges of Phoenician settlement have been found all the way down the Atlantic coast of Morocco dating back 3,000 years. A tablet found in New Mexico is inscribed in what appears to be early Hebrew in a Phoenician alphabet of a form used about 1000 B.C.E. in the eastern Mediterranea

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