Great Adventures and Explorations from the Earliest Times to the Present, as Told by the Explorers Themselves

Great Adventures and Explorations from the Earliest Times to the Present, as Told by the Explorers Themselves

Great Adventures and Explorations from the Earliest Times to the Present, as Told by the Explorers Themselves

Great Adventures and Explorations from the Earliest Times to the Present, as Told by the Explorers Themselves

Excerpt

This book contains the great stories of explorations and tells them in the words of the discoverers themselves, their companions, or their contemporaries. We know of others no less great which cannot be included because the books that told them have been lost.

In a sense, however, the very greatest stories of geographic discovery were never written.

The supreme discovery of new land upon this earth is the finding of a continent. Africa and Asia could never be discovered by man, for he originated in one or the other of them, if not both. These men, Asiatic or African, discovered Europe at least a million years ago and thus so long before the invention of writing that no chisel, stylus, or pen was available for the making of a record until long after the tradition of the discovery had died away. Indeed there was never properly such a tradition; for the unveiling must have been so gradual that no one realized it was taking place.

The Indonesians discovered Australia before the bow and arrow were invented, thus in the remote past. The discovery of North America from Asia must have been at least ten thousand years before the development of any proper writing anywhere in the world, for Sandia man of New Mexico is dated between 15,000 and 30,000 years ago. Even South America must have been discovered by the North Americans many thousands of years before the first pyramids were built in Egypt or Yucatan.

The one continent whose true human discoverers are known is Antarctica. This only historical first-rate discovery was com-

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