1421, the Year China Discovered America?

1421, the Year China Discovered America?

DVD - 2004
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Did a daring Chinese admiral sailing the world's largest wooden armada reach America 71 years before Columbus? This program examines the mystery surrounding the sailing exploits of the legendary Admiral Zheng He and his 30-year command of a Ming fleet. Part one discusses his known voyages to Asia and Africa; part two discusses the controversial theory that he rounded the Cape of Good Hope, and sailed on to America.
Publisher: [Alexandria, Va.] : PBS Home Video, c2004
ISBN: 9780793699483
Branch Call Number: DVD 910.41 FOU
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (120 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in


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Apr 15, 2018

Produced by PBS in 2004 based on the 2003 book of the same title by Gavin Menzies, this 113-minute documentary examines the mystery surrounding the sailing exploits of the legendary Admiral Zheng He (鄭和; 1371–1433).
Zheng commanded expeditionary voyages to Southeast Asia, South Asia, Western Asia, and East Africa from 1405 to 1433.
His larger ships stretched 120 meters or more in length.
These carried hundreds of sailors on four tiers of decks.
These voyages were long neglected in official Chinese histories but have become well known in China and abroad since the publication of Liang Qichao's "Biography of Our Homeland's Great Navigator, Zheng He" in 1904.
Although Gavin Menzies's theory appears profoundly interesting, there seems to be a lack of definitive proof.
In any case, it is an entertaining yet thought-provoking documentary.

Feb 11, 2013

A captivating presentation of the amazing nautical exploits of the 15th century Chinese. It uses actors in period costumes, digital simulations, and contemporary video footage to present the known history and the author Gavin Menzies' suppositions about the discovery of America. The DVD combines four half-hour segments so there is some boring repetition (that might have been edited out). Curiously (and disappointingly) no archeological findings of the well-known Chinese presence on the Pacific coast of North America was included in this documentary by PBS.

Apr 25, 2011

By ignoring the large number of commercial, military, pirate ships in the whole world, especially Europe, Middle East, Africa, South East Asia, Mr Gavin Menzies, in his book, based on dubious stories and fragments of artifacts found in Africa, had concluded the Chinese admiral Zheng-He had found and charted a navigation map to America in 1421. One of his main logic: fragments of china found in Africa and South America were shipped by no other vessels but Chinese ships. Curiously he did not get the carbon dating of these artifacts.


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