Christopher Columbus is popularly known as the explorer who 'discovered' the Americas but what many may not be aware of is that other theories abound about another civilization that may have beat him to it by 2000 years!
Enter the Phoenicians, a great sea-faring nation of old. Some claim it not to be a leap of faith to believe that they were able to voyage across the Atlantic as they were perfectly capable of it as former Royal Navy officer Philip Beale explained in an interview with CNN: “Of all the ancient civilizations they were the greatest seafarers – Lebanon had cedar trees perfect for building strong boats, they were the first to use iron nails, and they had knowledge of astronomy and currents.”
In the 1870s a stone tablet with strange inscriptions made its way to the then Director of the National Museum of Brazil, Ladislau de Souza who deemed it Phoenician in origin. According to hi, it told the story of how the Sidonian Canaanites had arrived at the shores of Brazil.
It was later proven to be a forgery.
During the 20th century, the inscriptions found on the Bat Creek artifacts made a Near Eastern and Ancient Language expert by the name of Cyrus Herzl Gordon speculate that this was of Paleo-Hebrew origin.
This too was proven to be fake.
According to an article, in 1996, an American Paleontologist by the name of Mark McMenamin theorized that the ancient Phoenicians had traveled to the shores of the Americas in 350 BC. He based his theory on gold stater coins found which may have belonged to the State of Carthage.
That too was proven to be a modern forgery.
The article goes on to explain that the only thing pointing in favor of the ancient Phoenicians discovering the Americas was in Ptolemy's Geography. Italian physicist, mathematician, and historian of Science, Lucio Russo suggests that the coordinates of Fortunate Isles matched those of the Antilles.
However, most modern-day scholars dispute the theory that the Phoenicians were the first to discover the Americas.