Saturday, January 14, 2006

world history- according to whom?

the bbc news announced that:
in fourteen-hundred and twenty-one
Zheng He followed the setting sun
(... and discovered the americas a few decades before colombus)
the proof is in the map and it will be unvailed in london and bejing
next week- surrounded with much controversy and skepticism.

read more:


Flyin J said...

thats pretty cool, but how did california reconnect to the mainland

Aaron said...
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Aaron said...

i'm intrigued.
thanks for bringing this up. i'm going to look into it some more.
since i'm ignorant of the subject, i want to hear what the history-conscious peter has to say about all this...
tickle our ears, pedro.

elnellis said...

what i find intreguing is the idea of perspectivalism in history. read an account of the Alamo, for instance, in a mexican public school and in an american public school and you will have two very different renditions on what happened and whether or not it was a positive or negative event.

it is also sad how eastern perspectives in history are rarely taken into account- and these are civilizations more ancient then the european ones. you can pretty much bet your bottom dollar that whatever discovery or invention was a "1st" in the west, had already been invented or discovered sometime BC in china...

pedro said...

Phil has a gerat point about eastern perspectives. Oue view of history is very ethnocentric (although every other civilization's view is as well). This is obvious not only by comparing history text books from around the globe but also by comparing maps from around the world.

Notice that the pictured map places the "East" prominently on the left and the "West" on the right. For some other unique cartographic (mapmaking) perspectives, check out


which are examples of the revolutionary american cartographer Richard Edes Harrison's work.

Here's a link to a satellite image of earth taken from the North Pole

These images are still, to a point, West-centered, but they were produced with an American audience in mind and represent a shift in western cartographic perspective.

pedro said...


check out google earth and experiment with rotating the globe to view it from different orientations.