China and the Chinese pop up in pseudohistory. They may not pop up as often as the Egyptians or the Atlanteans, but what they lack in presence they make up in solidity. I certainly do not pay much heed to works of pseudohistory or cryptohistory, but some of them do contain disturbing evidence.
Land masses east of China are present in pre-1492 European maps rumoured to have been copied from Chinese originals. The 1475 Martellus map, for instance, shows a large land mass very similar to South America east of mainland China.
Gavin Menzies uses many more of these troubling facts to claim that Zhèng Hé's fleet reached the Americas. Although his book 1421: The Year China Discovered the World does not resist scientific scrutiny, it is great fun reading, and it surely makes for a great campaign setting for The Celestial Empire: imagine that the player characters participate in one of Zhèng Hé's voyages and embark on a long trip round the world!
Other disturbing references in ancient Chinese manuscripts would point to the mythical eastern island continent of Fúsāng being the same as America. But more on that in a separate post!
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