Did Ancient Greeks Discover America?

In 1492, Christoper Columbus sailed “the ocean blue.” But did he really lead the first (or even the second) expedition to reach North America? Or did Pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact exist?

Pre-Columbian Mystery: Did Ancient Greeks Discover America?

One of our favorite subjects here at Guerrilla Explorer is pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact. Over the years, scholars have speculated that everyone from the ancient Romans to the Polynesians to the Japanese sailed to America long before Christopher Columbus. There is also evidence of travel going the other way as well, most notably Topa Inca Yupanqui’s legendary expedition in 1480.

We now know the Vikings reached Greenland in the late 900s. And it seems fairly likely that Polynesians traveled to South America between 300 and 1200. However, theories of other trans-oceanic expeditions have yet to be proven. Now, researchers have a new theory to study, thanks Dr. Minas Tsikritsis. Based on his analysis of Plutarch’s text, “On the Apparent Face in the Orb of the Moon,” Dr. Tsikritsis believes the Greeks visited the new world…all the way back in 86!

Here’s more on the possibility of pre-Columbian contact from Canada Greek Reporter:

Dr. Tsikritsis states that, “even before the time of Christopher Columbus, there was a communication which began during the Minoan era and continued until the Hellenistic times. The purpose of these travels during the Bronze Age was related to trade and the transportation of pure copper from Lake Superior of Canada.”

According to his findings it seems that after the first Minoan merchants, the Mycenaeans continued the journey, and, as reported by Plutarch, they sent Hercules to revitalize the presence of the Greek element, which had been diminished by the continuous miscegenation with the locals. Later, during the Iron Age, the interest in the region declined and until the Hellenistic time, it remained only as a conventional ceremonial tradition. So every thirty years some ships were sent to the areas that followed the worship of Cronus in order to renew the priest personnel.

The ancient text by Plutarch states that the dialogue coordinator, Lambrias, asks Sylla the Carthagean to narrate once more a story that he had heard from the servants of the temple of Cronus in Carthage. The story was originally told by a foreigner who was visiting the temple and came from the great continent.

According to Tsikritsis, who analyzed the data with the aid of a special computer program, “the information that is mentioned in the text confirms the description of a journey in 86 AD from Canada to Carthage.”

(See Canada Greek Reporter for more on pre-Columbian contact)

Recent Comments

  • Anonymous
    May 29, 2012 - 3:38 pm · Reply

    Europeans did not discover the Americas, proof is that around 20,000 years ago the first humans to reach the Americas were Mongolid hunting tribes from Siberia across the then land bridge to Alaska in search of game and their descendents settled and populated all of the Americas (including Greenland and as far south as Tierra del Fugeo long before the Greeks and even the Egyptians appeared in history. Give the natives the credit for the discovery, the least we as Europeans can do as we stole everything else from them.

  • David
    May 29, 2012 - 4:16 pm · Reply

    Yes, I’m well aware of the fact that a voyage in 86 AD wouldn’t have “discovered” America. It’s just a figure of speech, alluding to the fact that numerous societies flourished on opposite ends of the ocean with seemingly no knowledge of each other. The pertinent question is whether these societies had any contact prior to the Vikings and Columbus, thus “discovering” each other.

    I should note there is some evidence that pre-Columbian travel went the other way. For example, Topa Inca Yupanqui’s famous voyage which I wrote about here:

    Regardless, I take issue with your last sentence. First, it wasn’t “the natives” as a collective that first discovered the continent but rather, a hardy group of individuals that crossed the land bridge many centuries ago (although I should note that even that theory is highly questionable). And second, I can’t speak for you, but I haven’t stolen anything from anybody.

    • choobs
      May 17, 2013 - 2:17 pm · Reply

      have to agree with the first comment. people from Siberia made the perilous journey across the glaciers into north America. when did he say it was the natives that discovered America? he said Siberian hunting tribes made the journey across the land bridge some 10-20 thousand years ago which has since been proven to be covered in glaciers. they spread out along the west coast and into the interior of the continent and all the way down into south America. these early Siberian tribes broke off into separate colonies and socities forming the different native tribes eg. incas, Cherokee, apache tribes. so your right david. it wasn’t the natives as a collective that discovered the Americas it was these Siberian hunters who made first contact and then ended up becoming the first natives to America.

      • David Meyer
        May 17, 2013 - 2:42 pm · Reply


        I was responding to this sentence: “Give the natives the credit for the discovery, the least we as Europeans can do as we stole everything else from them.” I disagree with it on two levels. First, “the natives” shouldn’t be given credit for discovering America. That credit belongs to specific individuals, whose names have unfortunately been lost to history. And second, “Europeans” as a collective didn’t steal “everything else from them.” That blame goes to specific individuals.

        Thanks for reading!

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