Piri Re’is Map

The Piri Re’is Map is only one of several anomalous maps drawn in the 15th Century and earlier which appear to represent better information about the shape of the continents than should have been known at the time. Furthermore, this information appears to have been obtained at some distant time in the past.

Piri Re’is, Ptolomy (2nd Century A.D.), as well as Mercator and Oronteus Finaeus, well-known 15th Century map-makers, included the traditional southern continent in their world maps, as did others.

Antarctica was not discovered until the 19th Century, and it was largely unexplored until the middle of the 20th. This is just the start. Anomalous maps also show the Behring Strait as linking Asia and America, river deltas which appear much shorter than they do today, islands in the Aegean which haven’t been above water since the sea-level rise at the end of the ice-age and huge glaciers covering Britian and Scandinavia.

Long dismissed as attempts by cartographers to fill in empty spaces, some of the details of the old maps look very startling when correlated with modern (very mainstream) knowledge of the changes in the Earths’ geography in the geologic past, particularly during the Ice Ages

More evidence has appeared in recent years.. The Piri Re’is map is one of the cornerstones of the growing body of evidence for an unknown Ice Age civilization. Along with this we can include the book Hamlet’s Mill, by De Santillana and von Dechend (1969)


In 1929, a section of a world map drawn by the Turkish Admiral Reis (Piri-reis), was found in the basement of a museum in Constantinople. The map was of immediate interest as it appeared to show the coastlines of South America and Africa at their correct relative longitudes and latitudes, and the legend on the map dated it to ‘Muharran‘ in the Moslem year 919 (1513 AD), only 20 years after the official discovery of the Americas by Columbus in 1492. The legend on the map itself however, gave it an origin far older than 20 years,  revealing that it was a section of a world map composed from more than twenty source maps, some drawn in the time of Alexander the great, and that ‘some were based on mathematics’ (4). The fact that there was no known means of accurately calculating longitude in 1513 AD led Prof. Charles Hapgood to examine the map further.

Hapgood’s research led him to make several fundamental conclusions; Firstly, he confirmed that the coastlines of the continents had been accurately plotted with regards to both latitude and longitude. Secondly, he determined that the co-ordinates had been mathematically converted from natures spherical model to fit the two dimensional representation of a map, (a method similar in principle to Mercator’s projection). Thirdly, he showed that a connection existed between this map and several other ancient portolano’s and mappa-mundi, some of which included the outline of the Antarctic continent. These facts led Hapgood to suggest the existence of a set of knowledge from a time before the Greeks, and placed a question mark over the origin of sciences such as geometry, geography and cartography, traditionally accredited to the Greeks.

The calculation of latitude is a relatively easy procedure requiring only a single observation of the height of the sun from the horizon, the length of a shadow or the height of the pole star in the sky, whereas the calculation of longitude is a more complicated figure to deduce.

We therefore have several suggestions that this map at least, includes a set of knowledge that predates the European renaissance of the sciences which followed the intellectual vacuum of the ‘Dark-ages’ under the shadow of the ‘Holy church of Rome’ (a time when science was rejected as witchcraft and the world was believed flat) The recognition of the Antarctic continent on certain ancient world-maps may well turn out to be Hapgood’s most significant discovery as, apart from the fact that there is no record of anyone ever having charted the continent, it is a feat said by geologists to have been last physically possible only through a window of opportunity between 10,000 BC and 4,000 BC

The specific division of the Antarctic continent into two smaller land-masses on these ancient maps is similarly a mystery as it was only at the end of the 20th century that we were finally able to determine (through satellite technology) the accurate outline of the Antarctic continent, which was found to be identical to those seen on some of the oldest surviving maps of the world

However unlikely it seems therefore, or until new evidence emerges, we are forced to accept that any world map including an accurate representation of the Antarctic coastline would have had to have been charted before the last time it froze over, and therefore from a source as yet unknown, and with the radio-carbon evidence from the Ross-sea core-samples showing that the continent has been covered by ice since around 4,000 BC, it is closer to this period in time that we are forced to look.


The connection between the Piri-reis map and Constantinople led him to speculate on the possibility that the map may have had its roots in the store-house of knowledge, libraries etc that existed there until the 12th century when the city was sacked by the Christian crusaders, and following which a series of maps with an identical geometric fingerprint, began to appear in Europe and the Middle-east. The presence of the same fingerprint in certain Greek maps and the information in the legend of the Piri-reis map that it included sections composed in ‘the time of Alexander’, led him to suggest that these originals must in turn have originated from the renowned Library of Alexander

The legend on the Piri-reis map states that several maps from the ‘days of Alexander’ (356–323 BC), were used to compose the map, and although Ptolemy lived around 200 years after Alexander, it is well known that he, for example, relied greatly on the authority of earlier sources for his maps

the presence of the Antarctic continent on any map before the 16th century has yet to be explained, as does the high level of mathematics and geometry involved in such an undertaking.




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