National Geographic has finally weighed into the hotly debated discussion concerning the recent discovery of a Chinese map from 1763 that is claimed to be a copy of a map drawn in 1418. The map, which displays all of the continents including Australia, North America and Antarctica, supposedly provides evidence that the great chinese explorer Zheng He circumnavigated the world before western explorers. However, now it appears that, while old, the map is not authentic and that it is most likely a copy of a French map from the 1600's. Apparently, the lynch pin in the argument is the fact that China is not centered in the map, indicating that the map was probably not drawn by Chinese cartographers. While, National Geographic is usually the last word in all things mapping, don't be surprised if discussion continues about this map.
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