Piri Reis Map

Piri Reis Map - Evidence of Ancient Technology?

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On October 9, 1929, a German theologian named Gustav Adolf Deissmann was cataloguing items in the Topkapi Palace library in Istanbul when he happened across a curious parchment located among some disregarded material. On the gazelle skin parchment was a map, now referred to as the Piri Reis map . The map was drawn and signed by Turkish cartographer Hagji Ahmed Muhiddin Piri , aka Piri Reis, and is dated to 1513 CE. Reis was an admiral in the Turkish navy, an experienced sailor, and a cartographer, who claimed to have used 20 source maps and charts to construct the map, including 8 Ptolemaic maps, 4 Portuguese maps, an Arabic map, and a map by Christopher Columbus.

Since its discovery, the map has stirred both intrigue and controversy, mostly due to the presence of what appears to be a representation of Antarctica 300 years before it was discovered. Another—if not even more intriguing facet of the appearance of Antarctica—is that it appears to show the land mass before it was covered in ice, over 6000 years ago.

The great debate was sparked by Professor Charles Hapgood when he published his theory on the Piri Reis map in his book Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings in 1965. He and a team of students at the University of New Hampshire studied the map and found many anomalies, such as the use of mercatorial projection and the inclusion of a pre-ice Antarctica. The Greeks were able to create cylindrical maps based on their knowledge of a spherical earth, though mercatorial projection was not used by Europeans until later in the 16 th century, and were also able to use astronomy and geometry to calculate latitude and longitude, though absolute accuracy was not possible until the invention of the chronometer in 1760. While these two feats—amazing as they are—could be explained by use of Greek source maps and charts from the age of Alexander, nothing could explain the inclusion of Antarctica. As a result, Hapgood proposed that the map was based on materials that pre-date 4000 BCE, before any known developed languages or progressive civilizations. This theory implies that a prehistoric civilization had the technology to navigate major seaways and fairly accurately chart the globe. Hapgood also suggested that the topographic depiction of the interior of the continents required aerial capabilities, implying the prehistoric ‘super’ civilization to be both nautical and aerial masters and leading to the further speculation of either an Atlantean or alien civilization. No evidence has been found to support such theories.

Skeptics of Hapgood’s theory point out that the map is a representation of the South American coastline, pointing to modern physical features of the coast and interior included on the 16 th century map. Otherwise, argue critics, the image would indicate that Antarctica and South America had once been connected at Uruguay, and that Argentina did not yet exist. While this argument possibly dismisses the presence of Antarctica on the Piri Reis map,  other anomalous maps have been found that are identical to the the ice free continent as only 20 th century satellite technology has been able to identify.

Other theories of Hapgood’s have already been dismissed, such as his polar shift theory in which he claimed a sudden shift in the inclination of the Earth's axis of rotation in 9,500 B.C. could have resulted in the displacement of Antarctica, sending it hundreds of miles south and resulting in the alteration of its climate from semi-temperate to freezing. All evidence suggests that this shift could not, and did not, occur.

The true question is whether or not Antarctica is the identifiable continent on the Piri Reis map, or any of the other anomalous maps. If it is, could the Piri Reis map have been based on the documents of a yet undiscovered, prehistoric civilization, one that could possess technology enabling them to travel and accurately chart the globe? Regardless of the true origin of the sources, one thing is for certain: this map opens up the debate over how we view our own history and what, if any, of those views are accurate. Perhaps someday the truth will be discovered.

Related Links

The Piri Reis Map - Ancient-Wisdom

The Piri Reis Map - Sacred Archives

The Antarctica and the Piris Reis Map

Piri Reis Map

Strange Artefacts: Piri Reis Map

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"Other theories of Hapgood’s have already been dismissed, such as his polar shift theory in which he claimed a sudden shift in the inclination of the Earth's axis of rotation in 9,500 B.C. could have resulted in the displacement of Antarctica, sending it hundreds of miles south and resulting in the alteration of its climate from semi-temperate to freezing. All evidence suggests that this shift could not, and did not, occur. - See more at: http://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-technology/piri-reis-map-evidence...

I do not think he proposed any such thing. I believe he proposed a slippage of the earth's crust over the mantle due to gravitational

Zuell's picture

Why is it that the so called "experts" state that there were no advanced civilizations before 5000 BC when evidence is discovered to support there was. This is just one example.


While I am not a big fan of the past civilization theories. I do agree its rather suspect to brush theories aside. In 5000 years, how much evidence of the US will there be.

Because so called ‘experts, do not like their theories to be challenged. Like you I am open to the idea of much older ‘lost civilisations’, let’s hope more challenging evidence is discovered soon and that the ‘experts’ are forced to change their views, or at least broaden their horizons.

Barry Sears's picture

I think even more wonderful is the communication between ancient civilisations on a global scale. It is understood that the simple as above, so below notion goes, it was considered the connection between the Celestial and the World. An alignment globally connect the zodiac to major ancient sites, anatomically; the head Easter Island, the neck Chaco canyon, Stonehenge- Cancer, Leo the lungs-the sphinx, Virgo the Virgin Mary, the scales- Buddha region.... they all match a global body connecting to the Celestial body. Global communication.

cwterry5's picture

Captain Hans Berekoven of the Maritime Mysteries Explorers weighs in on the controversy surrounding the Piri Reis Map:


More information about the Maritime Mysteries Explorers can be found on their website, http://www.MaritimeMysteries.org

Clifford Terry
Filmmaker writer/producer

I believe scientists often under estimate the sea-faring powers of the ancients. I believe that when we broke out of the caves on the south coast of Africa, we didn't fill up Africa like a bottle before spreading int Europe and Asia. I believe rather that forerunners went up the coasts and spread up the river valleys on the way. This is how they got to Australia so quick. As for knowing it was there, even today, after cyclones, gum tree rubbish washes ashore in Indonesia. Also little is known about the civilization that flourished where the Black Sea is now. The flooding of this great river valley and lake happened about 9 and a half thou years ago. Evidence of changes in building techniques and pottery in surrounding areas following this flood indicate it was a superior civilization. Would also explain all the flood myths.

The out of Africa theory is almost obsolute, we have evidence of people coming from Europe and traveling into the America before the Clovies came from Asia, we have genetics showing that there are tribes in China that have been then longer than any other tribe or clan and that they are white people. The world has changed some many times of the year, between ice ages and natural disasters, that what we think is often off base. There is no such thing as a world wide flood due to the fact that in the remote past peoples view of the "world' was so limited. We have globes, maps, GPS, and sattelities now, we know what the "world" is, back then the world was their region or geographical location.

The only evidence against your localized flood theory is that not only are there records of such a flood not only in the middle east, but in the same time period from texts and stories from many locales across the globe. While I'm sure the people in the middle east who recorded the flood stories in the Bible and other textual sources, the same flood story is recorded in India, China, South America and so on. Nearly every ancient civilization has stories of a great flood. It is certainly possible that flood stories may have passed between adjacent regions, it is less than likely that such stories were passed between continents.

angieblackmon's picture

I have a book showing this map...it's one of the first things in it and it's just so fascinating. As a child I wasn't really interested in geography or ancient history, as an adult I wish I could go back to school and really learn about more about this. There is so much information out there that supports pieces like this it's baffling that more people don't know about it, or believe in its authenticity. 

love, light and blessings


Hi, what was the name of the book the map was shown in? :) I would like to buy a copy of it.

this is map is of interest, there are also older maps founds that are almost or is as accurate as this map. The seafaring people of the past were far more advance than we give them credit for. We have evidence of cultures and artifact from all over the world ending up in places they have no business being in. Like the Jade Tablet found in South America that can only be from China, and supposely at the time there was no means to get it from China to South America, but there it is. I doubt it was aliens or anything else, we have to get off our high horse, we are not the most intelligent of generations, we are not the  most advance civilization ever bevause we have cell phones and tv sets. People were in America before Columbus and I am not talking Native Americans. The Chinese were here, the Vikings were here, and so many other cultures throughout history were in America and they got here by by boat.

angieblackmon's picture

well not only did they get here, they knew how to document that they were here, and maps like this are the proof. i wish they taught map-making in schools other than such and such person made a map...even though nearly everything is mapped already, it's a skill that no one i know possesses. i wouldn't even know where to begin!!

love, light and blessings


Well angie blackmon, cartography is not dead and is alive and well. It is also believed that King Solomon had a hand in creating this map...

It saddens me that we have so much evidence of a culturally rich ancestry going back so many thousands of years and that all present day so called 'experts' want to do is deny its existence. Their egos are so hugely distorted! Because they can't understand or explain the principles used by the ancients,they simply trash it. They don't want Joe/Jill Public knowing too much just in case one of us came up with an explanation and made them look small! There are those who have understood and you can bet they've been shipped off to asylums and the keys are lost.

That's most informative and totally puncture the piri reis ballon!. Thank you.

I beleive Hapgood have been dismissed to easily. He may have missed out on the duration of such a slip, being an aggressive techtonical time period rather than an instant shift. Also he forgot to explain why it occures.

A theory on this is as follows: We begin with Gondwana land: the continental landmass crowds along the equator line. Why ? the earth works like a centrifuge! Later in time the plants have taken so much of the CO2 in the athmosvere, that have been bound up either in biomass or fossilized matter, that the temperature have fallen. This, creating glaciers at the poles. These glaciers bind up water, so the sealevels are going down, giving place for more carbon deposits and increasing the cooling pace of the earth. The glaciers would then have been well centered around the poles, but not perfectly centered, so when the icemasses passed a critical level, the centrifugal force started to push them toward the equator, creating an aggresive tectonical disturbance as an effect. As soon as this got going, the inballance increased and the movement increased. But also when the ismass moves from the pole, it starts to melt, giving rising sealevels as a result. At some point it comes to a rest, but now, the nice symetrical pattern of continental mass have been disturbed by the techtonical unrest, and also, at the poles, new glaciers start to build. This will repeat itself untill today, when CO2 levels will be brought back to those before all this started.

If so, Antarctica have probably been free of ice some time in the past, well, early enough it would have been anayway, but I meant also at a time, when an earlier civilisation could have made the original template for a much later and more or less corrupted map.

Tsurugi's picture

Yah. Also, there are petrified tree stumps in Antartica. And huge deposits of coal.

So it has not only been free of ice, it must also have spent large amounts of time in places other than at the pole, where even if it weren't frozen it would be pretty much impossible for trees and jungle forests to grow, because of the long night.

And don't rule out the presence of aliens assisting and teaching humans in the distant past!

Tsurugi's picture

In Hapgood's book, Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings, the following letter was reproduced(emphasis mine):


Westover Airforce Base

6 July 1960

SUBJECT: Admiral Piri Reis World Map

To: Professor Charles H. Hapgood,
Keene College,
Keene, New Hampshire.

Dear Professor Hapgood,

Your request for evaluation of certain unusual features of the Piri Reis World Map of 1513 by this organization has been reviewed.
The claim that the lower part of the map portrays the Princess Martha Coast of Queen Maud Land Antarctica, and the Palmer Peninsula, is reasonable. We find this is the most logical and in all probability the correct interpretation of the map.
The geographical detail shown in the lower part of the map agrees very remarkably with the results of the seismic profile made across the top of the ice-cap by the Swedish-British Antarctic Expedition of 1949. This indicates the coastline had been mapped before it was covered by the ice-cap.
The ice-cap in this region is now about a mile thick.
We have no idea how the data on this map can be reconciled with the supposed state of geographical knowledge in 1513.

Lt Colonel, USAF

I always like to include this bit of correspondence in any discussion of the Piri Reis map or Charles Hapgood's ideas, for the Skeptics to chew on(and perhaps chip a tooth or two). :D

Barry Sears's picture

I'm not really sure if all that I have read here is to the correct scale. When you view any global map the indication of rivers is not represented as with this map. My feeling is that the map indicates a simply bay some where and down to the details of more rock formations and safe passages and resting points for a tricky area. If anybody has studied these in detail the animals and human representations should indicate a region. Do I see a waterfall ?

Tsurugi's picture

This map has been studied in detail by many, many people...I don't think it is a small bay. Remember that it is a small piece of a much larger world map, now lost.

Remember also that it is drawn by hand, and that every cartographer had their own stylistic flairs and such. Cartography is/was an art form as well as a science. A few minutes perusing old maps demonstrates this easily.

Modern maps use standardized parameters such as line thicknesses, color codes, projection types, and so forth. Such standardizations did not exist in 1513 when this map was made.

Barry Sears's picture


Thank you for your reply Tsurugi,

The evidence does suggest a smaller scaled map. If you refer to the Aegean Sea map drawn by the same hand, it is noted two details suggest the map is of a smaller area to the Aegean Sea size. Please note the comparison of the rivers between the two maps, the larger rivers in the map above suggest a closer or smaller map. The second detail is the shore line. For a larger World map one would expect a smoother shore line although the actual shore line above contains greater detail compared to the Aegean Sea map. The human figures represent nationalities and identify countries, do you know who these figures are?? The other detail signifying location is the animals and the Tapir seems to  hold a good clue. The most interesting animal feature here is the repetitive number of birds and I wonder if you are aware, the reason for this. This is very interesting and I wonder if you are able to answer the questions especially the nationalities.

Kind regards Barry 


The Piri reis map was one of the first things to spark my interest in ancient humanity back in the early 80's along with the Bagdhad batteries. I think if one is going to speculate, one must also entertain the notion that, like the batteries, the map is not the " Pinnacle" of ancient cartography but rather just what we have so far identified. The map and the batteries could simply be improvisations made by some one who grasped the basic technology but may not of had the resources to produce what was considered "industrial" quality. Look at the batteries, here you have crudely made wet cells, in battery, able to produce usable current in an otherwise Biblical setting. What for? Why? I heard some one say that perhaps it was part of the electroplating process. These items and skills are all products of a more advanced underlying civilization than is portrayed to us by the balance of the archeological findings of that era. If some one in the future found a home made still in what was the Kentucky Hills would that person then assume he or she is looking at the cutting edge of technology of that era?

Barry Sears's picture


Greetings John,

Thank you for your response. The information I have read here and what I see don't seem to match. Great respect for the maps but I think the identification or our interpretation of the maps is not ringing true. The maps even Identify geographical features of the land and I think we will eventually find the maps are not distorted but in actual fact quite precise. [As the Aegean Sea}They are not too old so no drastic geographical changes have happened. If global then the great geographical feature globally would have been included. The features that have been recorded are precise and indicate a much smaller region than globally suggested. Do you know the nationalities represented by the figures??? The maps have been precisely surveyed with many reference lines passing through many specific points, these maps are very precise and contain great detail on land as well as the sea. There must be many studies that have identified the characters and animals represented here. Do you know of any summarised investigative documentation explaining the people?? The suggestion of a much smaller region seems totally logical and supported by the evidence, from my perspective. The suggestion I read that the birds indicate hidden treasure may prove profitable to those exploring this option. It is not my intention to disrespect your view on the maps and I admire they have inspired you. I seek to understand as best as I can the true meaning of the original intention. Speculation Vs Evidence. Cheers Barry

johnblack's picture

This is a good book to get in relation to ancient maps. It will answer many of your questions and it is a good source for many different ancient maps. Piri Reis is not the only one.

‘Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings’, Charles H. Hapgood.

Barry Sears's picture


Thank you Mr JohnBlack, your answers would be much appreciated

When studying the geographical features of the Piri Reis map above the land features are totally wrong for the suggested South America.... I would like to give a little respect here for the hand of Ottoman. I have viewed the related links and with the precision evident in known titled maps and his attention to detail, it is rather obvious that this is not the location of the map, suggesting  that the detail is so incorrect. He has not randomly drawn rivers and has left out one of the most geographically well known rivers of the World, the Amazon. He did not incorrectly draw the mountain ranges in the wrong position. This is without a doubt not the correct region. 

It would be much appreciated if you are able to answer the one question I have asked on many occasions. What identification has been suggested for the people who's nationalities have been carefully detailed above. My research is in other fields so it would be lovely if anyone familiar with these studies could answer one of the greatest clues to pinpoint the precise location of the map. If you can answer a second question this relates to the identification of the dominant animal in the map. Is it obvious and agreed that this animal is the Tapir? because this regionalises the map instantly. 

Kind regards Barry 

johnblack's picture

Hi Barry. I am not sure if I can reply your question, I haven't studied the topic in depth.

The Piri Reis map has been dismissed by conventional science, but if you look closely into the ‘debunking’ (including some links that a few posted in this thread) you will see that the map hasn't been studied properly and their ‘conclusions’ have huge gaps.

The truth is that we are not sure as to where he got such information and which Era it represents. If the Turkish cartographer did indeed had access to ancient maps and he used them to draw this map who knows how far in time this could be. However just the fact that he draw an area that represents Antarctica, even if it is not accurate according to today’s knowledge, it is still intriguing.

I’m surprised that many claim to know everything about aliens and UFOs but have never heard of the Blue Planet Project document!
It is one of the most influential documents about alien biological entities and space technology in our history.
Many of your favorite authors have used these documents to build their theories, and you would be surprised by how many of them are debunked or reinforced by the information in the Blue Planet Project Book.

johnblack's picture

Thanks for the information Gil. I have never heard about this project. I will have a look.

ancient-origins's picture

Here is a free version of the this Blue Planet Project book:


Barry Sears's picture

I hope I havn't mislead you, by lack of proof reading. Above I wrote Ottaman the should have been Hedji.

Hapgood was doing research for this book when I was a student at Keene Teachers College, ( NOT UNH) and I had a class with him, probably 1961 or 1962, and I, and other
students got to work on this project. As we now know, Antarctica DID separate from Australia. In 1957, a survey was done, using equipment that could locate the land surface beneath the ice, and the Piri Reis Map was found to be substantially correct. And yes, it was draw in a manner that proves that someone flew over it!

Barry Sears's picture

Greetings Peter,

I wonder if you are able to answer some of the questions that have been asked.

I am most interested to hear what animals have been depicted here, especially the elephant/tapir, as well as the nationalities of the people represented. Where do you think Antarctica connects ? Did snakes exist there as indicated?


Hapgood also wrote a book called "Earths Shifting Crust". His theory was, if memory serves, that all land on the planet was once all connected, so if Antarctica was connected to Australia, anything native to Australia would have been in Antarctica, including people, since it is known that the native people of Australia have been there at least 60,000 years. As Antarctica gradually moved to its polar position, and became covered with ice, all of this life died out. Many penguins live there now, and research shows that they have been there about 12,000 years.

Barry Sears's picture

Did your studies include the investgation of the characters and nationalites represented in the maps?


The BLUE PLANET PROJECT book has some interesting illustrations of different types of aliens. It is also claimed that they were smuggled out by a government scientist working on top secret projects with aliens. Could they be real?

It highly more likely that Piri used a map that originated with Zengh He of China who made a trip through the Red Sea, the Red Sea/Nile canal and visited points in the Mediterranean and left copies of a Chinese encyclopedia at points along the way. It was this trip that sparked the Renaissance in Europe. Yes, that canal still partially exists and can be seen from space. Read 1421 and 1434 by Gavin Menzies. Columbus didn't discover America. He had a map with the eastern portion of North and South America already on the map. It was his key selling point with King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain.

Yes, I read Menzies books years ago, and am aware of Zengh He. I am 76, and live in NH. When i was a child there was a large stone stone with a Chinese symbol on it in the mouth of the Merrimack River. Now, the stone and all record of it seem to have disappeared. I guess the power that be want use to believe the nonsense about Columbus!

Barry Sears's picture

After viewing earlier maps of Piri Reis I have remained unconvinced that this map is a large global map. His detailing of geographical features suggests otherwise. After the last couple of post I decided to have another look and upon searching and viewing many maps it was interesting to find Piri Reis map usually represented lying horizontal. It was also most interesting to find the map is also incredibly similar to another map which was presented beside this map on one of my internet searches.

Dreamtime photo’s has this        z/compás-antiguo-sobre-mapa-viejo

Identicle details appear on the coast of most of these two maps, as well as matching Islands and rocks, although the only variation is the rock formation on the left. Worth a comparison.

Barry Sears's picture

Reference number   30617428.jpg

Barry Sears's picture

Has anybody had a look to see how the Piri Reis map matches almost identically in all features, including rivers, land geograpgical features, small bays and rock formations to the google bay reference above. ???

pamelalounsbery's picture

Iust happen to wonder if the animal found near the nazca lines “Two parts of the picture, that appear to be horns, bear close resemblance to those that appear on earthenware dating from 100 B.C. to A.D. 600, during the time when the Nazca kingdom flourished, and it is thought that they relate to fertility rites.” Also the indian you can see in Canada, maybe part of what is seen on the piri reis map. I got me thinking when I was directed to the nazca, Peru site from here. I cannot get a close enough picture of the map.


This has always been of a great interst to me as i wrote about this map and various others just like this instance. As for this Piri Reis map, the Orontius Finaeus map of 1531 also showed Antartica and its outlines of all its rivers, which are now covered with Glacial ice. Also the Bauche Map showed Antartica as two seperate landmasses appearing as one due to the ice sheet. When a seismic survey was carried out, the survey of the topogropny below matched the Bauche map in EVERY detail. So how are things like this possibe? To have a map of Antartica, 100 years prior to its discovery, and shows it ice free...


My article i wrote on the subject-- http://historyrunamok.blogspot.com/2013/07/antarctica-mapped-before-it-w...

Barry Sears's picture

Viewing the detail of this map compared to the Aegean Sea map, it appears rather obvious that the map cannot be of a larger space but actually contains smaller detail of a much smaller area. The land detail representing the plains and hills is totally incorrect for a country map.

I have found the exact bay that matches the rocks, rivers and details and this follows the exploration around the Arctic circle. The google map reference has been posted earlier. If detail under the ice is incredibly accurate how come most other details are so distorted? Because there are other options, this bay is a perfect match so for me the case is solved.

Liked the comment "how much evidence of the USA will be left 5000 years from now?" None, very little, perhaps a bit more. It does point to how limited history and science are about the ancient past. I've always wondered why flood traditions are ubiquitous in all of human history? Seems more than a simple coincidence??? One other enigma: IF mankind has changed little in the past 500,000 years, why don't we see more evidence of early civilizations. What happened about 10K years ago that provided mankind the catalyst which exploded human civilizations, technology, population, etc. Said another way, what the heck was mankind doing for 490,000 years (take or give a hundred thousand years). ???

Absolutely… where did they just dissapear to during the Glacial/Interglacial period before this last Ice age? When looking back at Paleoclimatology the Deluge more than likely happened during the Interglacial before this last more recent one due to an unsual length of warming and higher temperatures. Why couldn’t Civilization and technology have advanced even faster after this particular Glacial and then have been wiped out by the Flooding caused by the following interglacial? We are going to have the chance to maybe find some of these past Cultures pretty soon. Even though it is slightly delayed we are headed into a new Ice age cycle and much more land will be exposed again.

Ooops, sorry I first posted a wrong link...here is the correct one.


Barry Sears's picture

Hi All,

Just incase you missed this, here is another picture of an antique map which is almost identicle to the Piri Reis map being discussed here. 


I hope this image is available for you, if not I will be happy to email you the map. Once you see it you will instantly recognise the similarity and realise that this is the correct location. You will notice the correct position of the rivers and waterways and correct representation of the geographical features. 

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