Marco Polo may have discovered America hundreds of years before Columbus
A map may prove that Marco Polo discovered America more than two centuries before Christopher Columbus.
A sheepskin map, believed to be a copy of the 13th century Italian explorer's, may indicate that Marco Polo came upon modern-day Alaska and Washington during his travels around Asia.
The map, and thirteen other documents, was found in San Jose, California inside a trunk belonging to an Italian immigrant from the 1930s. The documents are believed to have been written by Polo's daughter, Bellala.
They recount how the Italian merchant traveller met a Syrian traveller who told him about a peninsula on the far edge of Asia. Polo then sailed forty days east and found a land he referred to as the "Peninsula of Seals." He found that natives wore seal skins, ate only fish, and lived in "homes under the earth."
One expert who wrote MarcoPoloInSeattle.com claims the explorer then went south to Washington state.
If the documents prove to be authentic it would mean that Columbus did not discover America in 1492 -- and all those days off for Columbus Day' would have been for naught.
However, there are some pretty big holes in the theory. First, Marco Polo never wrote about the "Peninsula of Seals" in his book "The Travels of Marco Polo."
Also, the sheepskin appears to be created during the 14th or 15th century -- hundreds of years after Polo's alleged trip to America.
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