Did Ancient Greeks Visit North America?
We have a general rule of thumb: if a headline ends in a question mark (?), the answer is almost always “NO”. This is no exception but is one of the times where a better answer is “probably not, but maybe”! In a recent paper, Ioannis Liritzis, an archaeologist at the University of the Aegean, along with his co-authors examined the writings of Plutarch to discern the meaning behind one of the tales. In it, a character talks of a grand adventure from which he’d recently returned. He describes it as a long voyage to a distant “great continent” which travelers would make the trip roughly every 30 years, when the planet Saturn appeared in the constellation Taurus. Using this and other context clues, Liritz’s team examined solar eclipse records to ballpark date such a voyage to 56CE and they examine a number of possible explanations for how and why these sailors might have made such a journey. In the end, the conclusion is that it’s certainly possible but not altogether probable given the lack of archeological and metallurgical evidence. But the entire theory is a fascinating read that explores the potential fora while chapter of unknown historical exploration.