Afghans discovered America a thousand years before Christopher
Christopher Columbus may be rocked on his pedestal by an unlikely
contender. A book authored by a Canadian writer claims that
Buddhist monks from Afghanistan discovered America a thousand
years before Columbus.
Popular history believes that Christopher Columbus discovered
America in 1492 while searching for India. This theory is however
likely to be challenged soon with the publication of a book 'An
Impossible Journey from Kabul to Chiapas' by Gary Geddes. Geddes
argues that Afghan Buddhist monks had traveled to the American
Continent a thousand years before Christopher Columbus.
Afghan historians and researchers have also confirmed the idea.
The late Abdul Shakoor Rashad, doyen of Afghan historians with 30
books on history and literature to his credit, had written about
this theory on several occasions, contending that Afghan monks had
reached America through China.
Geddes, a poet and a historian visited Afghanistan in 2001 during
the Taliban regime to collect material for his book. Geddes has
investigated Rashad's idea and studied the route on which the
Afghan monks reached the coast of America through China,
collecting evidence to back his theory.
A group of five Buddhist monks led by Hu Shin went to China from
Kabul via the Silk Route in 458 A.D. and from there they got to
the American coastlines of the Pacific Ocean by sea. This group
toured Canada and America on foot and ended up in the Chiapas
province of Mexico he says.
Academics have earlier also discussed the journey of people from
the Asian coastlines of the Pacific to America and the release of
the new book will bring new evidence to the debate.
The Canada Desk Director in the Foreign Ministry of Afghanistan,
Mohammad Hassan Sobman, who helped Geddes in collection of the
material, say the book will bring Afghanistan on the center stage
"Afghanistan has been put back on the stage after decades of
isolation and now with disclosure of the fact that Afghans were
the first discoverers of America, the country will be never drop
off the map", Sobman said.
Afghan artist, Mohammad Yousuf Asifi, appreciating the writer's
efforts, told Pajhwok that the historical monuments excavated from
Afghanistan shows that Afghanistan was pioneer of other countries
in religious affairs. "We have left back a strong history.," he
He asked Afghan researchers and historians to embark on in-depth
investigations and demonstrate to the world a clear picture and
identity of Afghanistan.