Before Columbus: the secret map of America

Demetrio Charalambous

There are three series od early maps of America showing regions not yet discovered by European sailors:

1) Caverio and "Cantino" world maps (1502) depict the North American East coast from the Mexican Gulf to the 42nd parallel (Caverio also represents the Yucatan peninsula and the Honduras Gulf).

2) Martin Waldseemüller's world map represents the North Pacific Ocean six years before Balboa's discovery of the Pacific, and shows with accuracy the general shape of Central and South America at a time when nione knew that America was a continent seperated from Asia.

3)A Spanish anonymus map dated 1527 depicts the main course of the Amazon and Parana rivers and some of its tributaries, then unexplored. A big river represented in North America couls be the Mississippi and its tributaries Ohio and Missouri, displaced to the East because of a confusion of the cartographer.

All these geographical elements may be joined as the pieces of a puzzle and organized into a coherent figure: a map prototype of America. The History furnishes evidence of the diffusion of this cartographic secret from Lisbon to the Gimnasium Vosguense and later to Spain. We found persuasive documents that mentioned a secret map, just before the confection of the abovementioned series of maps.