Did Ancient Chinese Explore America? My Journey Through the Rocky Mountains to Find Answers
Charlotte Harris Rees
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A Chinese classic, the Shan Hai Jing, reportedly from 2000 BC claimed travels to the ends of the earth. However, today many, while accepting the antiquity of this account, believe it was just mythology. But was it?
Testing the hypothesis that the Shan Hai Jing described actual surveys of North America, Charlotte Harris Rees, author of books about early Chinese exploration, followed an alleged 1100 mile Chinese trek along the eastern slope of the US Rocky Mountains. The Chinese account should have been easy to disprove. In the travelogue Did Ancient Chinese Explore America?
Rees candidly shares her initial doubts then her search and discoveries. She weaves together history, subtle humor, academic studies, and many photographs to tell a compelling story.
and sure enough, unexplainably they are there. According to the US Department of Agriculture, they are found in a band spreading east starting in Las Animas County, Colorado, which is less than 5 miles from Blanca. However, these are not just any mulberry trees. They are wild white mulberry (morus alba), a species not native to America, but native to China. According to World Trade and Biological Exchanges Before 1492, plants of this species were in the New World before the arrival of Europeans.
that a resident there had a sign: “Apple Cider for Sale.” We stopped to take a photo of a wild apple tree growing nearby. As we approached Manzano State Park a storm came up with a tremendous display of lightening and rain. That was followed by the most beautiful and vivid double rainbow that Dave and I had ever seen. We were able to view all of both rainbows. They filled the sky. Dave, who usually is sedate, was so awestruck that he stopped the car in the middle of the road and jumped out to
existence] is usually taken to be the Basketmaker II [800 BC - AD 400] and analogous occupations.113 Since Prehistoric New Mexico was written several years ago, I contacted that author. He stated that those dates were fought over passionately, but he still claims 2000 -1800 BC for the corn (maize) that was found there. Nevertheless those arguing with him are only arguing for a few hundred years later, not thousands of years. Whenever it was, shortly after that Setaria viridis (a non native
facing orientation in other regions of the Americas. High Rolls Cave, which is just south of our next Shan Hai Jing stop, was dated to 3500 years ago, and contained cultigens. The opening of High Rolls cave is toward the south and a body of water.129 I have not yet been able to find whether other archaic home sites of New Mexico also had the same positioning. However, the Henderson Site burials near Roswell, New Mexico dated AD 1200 -1400 had the heads of almost all the deceased facing south