Cyrus H. Gordon, Sir Leonard Woolley and Flinders Petrie
On the other hand, Gordon was a man constantly challenging traditional theories, such as promoting a belief that Greek and Hebrew cultures came from the same (common) Semitic heritage. Gordon also held that Jews, Phoenicians, and others crossed the Atlantic in antiquity, ultimately arriving in both North and South America. This opinion was based on his own work on the Bat Creek inscription found in Tennessee and on the transcription of the Paraiba inscription (no one has evidently seen) from Brazil, as well as his assessment of the Los Lunas Decalogue Stone.
Robert Larson, Hwui Shan, and Hubert Howe Bancroft
In addition, Robert Larson wrote about the historical account of the voyage of Buddhist Hwui Shan from Asia to the U.S. in 458 A.D. The written account is the only record of East-West contact. The description of the people and places visited by the explorer corresponds with the North Pacific route. The refusal of historians to entertain the idea that Hwui Shan discovered the U.S. can likely be attributed to the opposition of History Co. Inc. founder Hubert Howe Bancroft, the American historian and ethnologist who wrote, published and collected works concerning the western United States, Alaska, Mexico, Central America and British Columbia.
According to Larson, Hwui Shan’s voyage from China, five hundred years before Leif Ericson and a thousand years before Columbus, has been almost totally ignored by modern American historians, yet a rather considerable number of learned papers, articles, and even books were once written about him by Western scholars who believed that he crossed the Pacific: and landed on the west coast of this continent—which he described as the wonderful Land of Fusang—in the year 458.
Alexander von Humboldt, Karl Freiderich and Charles Godfrey Leland
Hwui Shan, whose name (also written as “Hoei Shin”) means “very intelligent” in Chinese, was a cha-men , or mendicant Buddhist priest, from Afghanistan who first came to China as a very young missionary about the year 450. The period was one of great expansion for Buddhism, and extraordinary journeys made by cha-men on land and sea were not at all uncommon. This one seems to have left China almost immediately, in the company of four fellow priests, on a missionary journey to new lands. His report indicates that they sailed northeast of Japan to the Land of Ta-Han (the Kamchatka Peninsula in Siberia) and from there traveled 20,000 Ii (about 6,600 miles) east to the Land of Fusang. This distance and direction suggest that they went by a coasting, island hopping route across the North Pacific, past the Aleutian Islands to Alaska, and down the west coast of America as far as Mexico. There, apparently, they remained for forty years, observing the country, its people, its customs, crafts, plants, and animals—and diffusing Buddhism among the inhabitants.
From 206 BC to 25 AD, Chinese junks were driven by oars. The first mention we find of a Chinese vessel in history is 331 BC, when Berenice is said to have traded with Musiris, exchanging goods there which were probably brought by native vessels from China to Ceylon; Most, if not all, of the early Chinese trade was limited to the Red Sea ports, the Nile and the Indo-China ports. No drawings survive to show China junks ever had keels or deep water vessels before that of the West
In any event, the idea of two islands which are reported as what the Sidonian sailors recorded and later reported and which Venice Priddis writes,would have been inaccurate to what existed at the time, however, based on where the events took place the sailors were shipwrecked on the east coast of South America (of which we have written before), they would only have been able to see two islands if there was a water passage to the Atlantic through what is now the mouth of the Amazon River, which Venice Priddis claims did not exist at that time. Her two islands, therefore were all of the east coast lands of South America and the Western lands that would have been the Land of Promise—with the Amazon Basin an inland sea with openings at the present day Orinoco River delta and south of the present-day Plata Estuary and all of this southern portion of the continent.
However, modern geologists have found evidence in sea beds, etc., that the island makeup of South America was slightly, but importantly, different.
(See the next post, “The Paraiba Inscriptions and the Two South America Islands of Antiquity, Part II,” for more on this incident of the Paraiba Inscriptions and the two islands reported by ancient shipwrecked sailors)