In 1929 some old maps were found painted on gazelle skin, rolled up on a shelf in the palace at
Constantinople. They belonged to the sea captain Piri Reis who sailed the area and made this map
around 1513. Two maps of his were already in the Berlin Library and showed remarkably accurate
surveys of the Red Sea and the Mediterranean islands. Piri Reis was well known in his day, an Admiral
in the Navy of the Ottoman Turks who took part in many successful battles. He was considered an
expert in Mediterranean lands. He had privileged access to the Imperial Library where he probably found
the many maps he states were used as reference for this one. Reis was put to death by the Sultan
Suleiman II for a little tiff they had in 1555.
His map shows the exact coastline of North and South America - including the Andes which were
unknown at this time - and Antarctica including their exact topography - mountain ranges, valleys and
individual peaks that weren't discovered until 1952, giving their exact altitudes. Antarctica is shown in
detail in spite of it not being discovered until 1818, 300 years after the map was drawn. The last time the
coastland of Queen Maud land was ice-free was 6000 years ago. Greenland was strangely shown as
being three islands. Investigations carried out in recent years show Greenland does indeed rest on three
The Falkland islands are shown at the correct latitude, although they weren't discovered until 1592.
Due to the ice-free state of Antarctica shown on the map, it was estimated the original map(s) used to
compile Reis' must have been drawn at least 10,000 years ago. This was also confirmed by an
evaluation by the 8th Reconnaissance Technical Squadron of the USAF, Westover AFB, Mass. The
subglacial topography of Queen Maudland in Antactica, which the Piri Reis map shows accurately, was
not mapped until 1949 by a joint British-Swedish science endevour..
Reis gives us some answers to these puzzles in notes written in his hand along the margins. He states
that this map is a compilation from a large number of existing maps, some of which were copies of
maps before them. One theory which has gained scientific credibility in the last decade is that the
poles were once near the euqators, before a "earth-crust" displacement took place. Even if this is true,
it happened about 4000 BC.