Ancient Technology

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Maps from Before History

By Martin Ruggles

For seafarers of the late thirteenth century, there was no GPS, no radar, and no sonar. Getting where you wanted to go depended on the skill and experience—to say nothing of daring—of your ship’s pilot. In addition, such travel often required the use of highly prized navigational charts known as “portolans” (Portolano in Italian), which provided the direction and distance to various ports in the Mediterranean. With the dawning of the so-called Age of Discovery in the early fifteenth century, portolans were treated by seafaring…

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The Engineers of Puma Punku

By Christopher Dunn

If there is one positive outcome to the Ancient Alien series on the History Channel for the past few years, it is that millions have been treated to excellent high-definition photography of very obscure sites around the world and have been amazed at the accomplishments of ancient civilizations. While the series is heavily biased towards the belief that ancient aliens were responsible, either by creating these wonders themselves or by directing and guiding indigenous people, that fact should not dissuade viewers from appreciating the high…

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Copper Mining in Ancient America

By Frank Joseph

Among the greatest mysteries of the past is also one of the least known. Although archaeologists have been familiar with prehistoric copper mining at the Great Lakes since the mid-nineteenth century, they have always been reluctant to publicly discuss this enigma, because it suggests overseas’ impact on ancient America, thereby contradicting their unswerving belief in Christopher Columbus as the sole discoverer of our continent. They are unable to account for 223,215 or more tons of copper excavated from five thousand pit-mines, mostly at Michigan’s Upper…

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