The first podcast for the year is finally done! It’s been a real busy January-and-February for me, and this podcast was supposed to be for January (I was targeting a podcast a month) but unfortunately delays in my own schedule forced me to take a longer time producing this episode. =(
The SEAArch podcast speaks to Dr Geoff Wade of the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore about his website, 1421 Exposed. The site was set up up response to the controversial 2002 book, 1421 by Gavin Menzies which claimed that the Chinese admiral Zheng He circumnavigated the world. Find out why Dr Wade set up this website, and the main arguments against the 1421 thesis.
Hear and download the podcast from the SEAArch podcast page
When China Ruled the Seas: The Treasure Fleet of the Dragon Throne, 1405-1433 by L. Levathes
17 June 2006 (The Straits Times, by way of the Singapore Heritage mailing list) – A Ming dynasty medal unearthed in North Carolina suggest Chinese contact with America before Columbus. The 1421 thesis is highly controversial and academics have provided a point-by-point rebuttal of Gavin Menzies’ work in 1421 Exposed. (Unfortunately, the Straits Times is a pay-site and a link cannot be provided. I’d be happy to forward the article to you if you email me.)
More proof that Zheng He founded America?
MORE evidence has been unearthed which suggests that Chinese Ming dynasty explorer Zheng He might have founded America decades before Christopher Columbus did in the late 15th century.
A seven-cm-wide brass medal, complete with Ming dynasty inscriptions and dug up kilometres inland from the North Carolina coast, was yesterday unveiled here for the first time.
The six-Chinese-character inscription, ‘Da Ming Xuan De Wei Ci’, on the medal translates into ‘Awarded by Xuan De of Great Ming’. It refers to the period between 1426 and 1435, the reign of Emperor Xuan Zong – long before Columbus landed in the New World in 1492.
This, claimed the medal’s owner Lee Siu Leung, ties in with the fact that Xuan Zong had, in 1430, commissioned Admiral Zheng to embark on his last voyage to announce his accession to the throne to foreign nations.
1421 is the Gavin Menzies book published in 2002 alleging that the Chinese* discovered America earlier than Columbus – and in fact circled round the globe. I’ve read it, and it paints an interesting argument but without hard evidence to back it up, it really is just a load of rubbish. The book and its allegations have been getting a lot of airtime in mainstream media and Menzie’s roadshows (including one in Singapore) and some academics, led by Geoff Wade at the National University of Singapore have been campaigning to set the record straight. More importantly, they’ve been lobbying authorities and publishers to get the book out of the History section and place it in Fiction. Check out their website www.1421exposed.com to see their blow-by-blow refutations of the book.
* The Chinese, led by Admiral Zheng He[/tag], who has been documented as having travelled through Southeast Asia, including Dan-Ma-Hsi (Temasek, or Singapore) and Melaka, and as far as Persia.