Before I comment on the material; first, I would like to provide the relevant online links so you establish your own opinion. The title says it all, and here are the relevant news items: in English / in Greek. Apparently, a book will be published soon; a book based on the idea that the Minoans discovered America first. I do not wish to provide the name of the author here, but rather, briefly discuss this man's theory. First things first, I am not the only one who is sceptical over this theory.
I illustrate the author's opinions:
a) 'the Minoans mined thousands of copper mines around Lake Superior on the Canadian-American border as early as 2,200 B.C., leaving behind thousands of knives, harpoons and other objects...'
b) There is DNA proof that the Minoans carried a rare gene found today among Native Americans around Lake Superior and scientific tests matching the region's "uniquely pure" copper to the Uluburun ingots...
c) The Minoans carried tobacco from the Americas to Egypt, evidence of American tobacco should exist around Crete. "There is such evidence in the form of a tobacco beetle found buried beneath the 1450 B.C. volcanic ash of a merchant's house in Akrotiri, the Minoan town...This tobacco beetle, Lasioderma Serricorne, was indigenous to the Americas. It should be remembered tobacco didn't grow in Europe in 1450 B.C....
A storm of controversy:
Although Professor Carl Johannessen, professor emeritus at the University of Oregon and co-author of "World Trade and Biological Exchanges before 1492," is intrigued by Mr. Menzies's latest research and applauds his previous efforts as "a powerful search for ancient knowledge," he says, "I am convinced that the Minoans were not the first or the only sailors crossing the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans."
Meanwhile, Susan Martin, an associate professor of archaeology at Michigan State University who specializes in Lake Superior's prehistoric archaeology, says, "There is no evidence of any exploration or exploitation of the mineral resources by anyone other than Native American users."
Professor John Bennet, a Minoan expert at the University of Sheffield, argues that, while it is theoretically possible that Minoans reached America, their ships were too small to carry sufficient supplies and cargo for regular long voyages. And Cemal Pulak, an associate professor at Texas A&M University who led the Uluburun excavation, says that such ambitious seafaring wouldn't have been feasible. Although the vessels were sturdy, they didn't have decks to endure storms and rough seas, he explains, adding that the Uluburun copper came from Cyprus.
Professor George Korres (University of Athens) discusses that the anchoring of the ships in naval-stations between the departure and destination point was necessary, to 'split' the trip and make it smoother and less dangerous; also, for reasons of replenishment. He also claims that it is highly unlikely to believe that the Minoan boats crossed the Atlantic during the night?
It is time I myself expressed a few thoughts about the theory of this book. I have researched Egyptian-Aegean interactions for over three years, in doctoral level, but crossing the Atlantic is another story: I find it hard to believe that a trip to sail across the Atlantic would be possible in the times of the Minoans. Not only because their boats were not properly equipped for such a long-distance trip (their ships were properly equipped for trips in the Mediterranean and the Near East -with regular stops in between Crete and their final destination- but not good enough to cross the turbulent Atlantic, one of the most dangerous seas in the world, with regular hurricane/tropical storms). Even better, I find it hard to believe that the Minoans would regularly visit the Americas and exchange commodities with them. If this is the case, where are the numerous 'Native American finds' on Creteand other locales under Minoan influence? I am not talking about one or two pieces (see 'Lasioderma Serricorne' above), I am talking about a good number of finds to convince me that there was something going on between the two locales. As the proverb says: 'One flower does not bring spring' and as Francis M. Chapman adds, 'Spring would not be spring without bird songs'. Do not get me wrong, I cannot see the point behind all this. Even the World System Approach specialists would struggle to find the words to discuss an opinion like this. I do not wish to comment on the origin of the Uluburum ingots (Prof. Pulak has covered me on this), or even worse, about the DNA proof that the Minoans carried a rare gene found today among Native Americans around Lake Superior... Therefore, I will not give the benefit of the doubt to the author, unless he provides clear and concrete evidence to prove us all wrong.