Actual European Discoveries

It is commonly taught that Christopher Columbus discovered America. Now this is not accurate in multiple ways. Not only were there people residing in current day America before Christopher Columbus arrived in the Bahamas, but he was also not the first European to land off the coast. There is evidence that Europeans had unknowingly found these lands, but are not celebrated because it was not the Age of Exploration.

This infographic goes through lands (mostly small islands) actually discovered by Europeans (and America). However, there was evidence of prior habitation and of prior knowledge before they were “discovered” by Europeans. So it is difficult to say what was discovered by Europeans.

Some questions that need to be answered include: What began the “Age of Exploration”? Why did previous inhabitants, or those who knew of islands, not inhabit the areas? What are we working on that can be compared to this excitement? While it is not very expensive to charter a boat and sail around the world today, what were the costs then as compared to present day? What was the life like of one of these explorers? What was involved in preparing and expedition and life on the ship? What is left to be discovered here on Earth (beneath ice, within jungle, and in other uninhabitable areas)?


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