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Then in 1204, year of the fourth crusade, when the Venetians entered Constantinople, those maps begun to circulate among the European sailors.
Dr Charles Hapgood, in his book Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings (Turnstone books, London 1979, preface), said that: It appears that accurate information has been passed down from people to people.
It appears that the charts must have originated with a people unknown and they were passed on, perhaps by the Minoans and the Phoenicians, who were, for a thousand years and more, the greatest sailors of the ancient world.
He has written his own notes on the map that give us a picture of the work he had been doing.
He says he had been not responsible for the original surveying and cartography.
Most of these maps – Hapgood goes on – were of the Mediterranean and the Black sea. These included maps of the Americas and maps of the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans.