28 January 2013

Latest issue of SHD's journal is published, with a freebie

The latest issue of Terrae Incognitae, the scholarly journal for the Society of the History of Discoveries, is out and it is a special issue on the exploration of Africa.  Here is the table of contents:

  • Exploration in the Nineteenth Century by Imre Josef Demhardt
  • The Cartography of Exploration: Livingstone's 1851 Manuscript Sketch Map of the Zambesi River by Elri Liebenberg
  • The Reverend Charles New: Nineteenth-Century Missionary and Explorer in Eastern Equatorial Africa by Sanford H. Bederman
  • Alexine Tinné: Nineteenth-Century Explorer of Africa by Mylynka Kilgore Cardona
  • Hermann Habenicht's Spezialkarte von Afrika - A Unique Cartographic Record of African Exploration 1885-1892 by Wulf Bodenstein
  • Recent and Upcoming Literature in Discovery History
  • Book Reviews
The publisher has granted free public access to the introductory essay "Exploration in the Nineteenth Century" by Imre Josef Demhardt.  So, learn about the history of nineteenth-century European exploration of Africa and join SHD to get the printed journal!

18 January 2013

American Indians in Viking Iceland? Yes, says DNA.

The Skálholt Map, a copy of a 16th century Icelandic map,
showing Norse lands and their discoveries in the Americas.
Geneticists have discovered 80 living Icelanders with mitochondrial-DNA (a type of DNA passed from mother to child) signatures similar to Native American Indians.  The evidence suggests that this DNA entered the Icelandic bloodlines around AD 1000, which means that early Viking explorers and settlers to the New World may have brought at least one Indian woman back to Iceland with them.  There are no suggestions in  the in historical records, such as the Icelandic sagas, that women were brought back to Icelandthis may indicate that there were many more voyages to Vinland and other points west than were recorded, and much more contact between Vikings and Skraelings (what the Norsemen called the Amerindians) than previously suggested.