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Questions tagged [exploration]

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13
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2answers
410 views

Did the Inca Empire know about the Polynesians, or vice versa?

I'll split this question into two parts. Pre-Columbus: There's some evidence that Polynesians traveled back and forth between Oceania and South America before the arrival of Europeans. The sweet ...
4
votes
2answers
243 views

When was the first confirmed circumnavigation of Africa?

There has been debate over the years about whether the Phoenicians and Egyptians circumnavigated Africa. An expedition beginning in 2008 set out to prove just that, with a Phoenician-inspired ship. ...
2
votes
1answer
119 views

Travel route from UK to Boma (Congo territory) in the 1880s

I’m researching for a possible story on the Congo in the 1880s. I’m having a hard time establishing the route and time spent going from a port in England to Boma in the former unclaimed Congo ...
3
votes
1answer
114 views

When did Europeans make their first well-attested visit to mainland Alaska?

To my surprise, I could not find a straightforward answer to this question. When did Europeans first set foot in mainland Alaska? I could easily find that: Vitus Bering, a Dane of Russian allegiance, ...
15
votes
2answers
543 views

To what extent were Polynesians in contact with one-another before European contact?

Motivation Pacific islanders (Polynesians, Melanesians, Micronesians) before contact with Europeans were able seafarers that had discovered and settled virtually all Pacific islands that could ...
1
vote
0answers
361 views

Why was the new world named America?

Christopher Columbus is widely credited with discovering the new world in 1492 as the leader of an expedition which included 3 ships financed by the kingdom of Spain. Columbus was a seasoned sailor, ...
6
votes
1answer
230 views

Did Peter the Great support a Russian circumnavigation?

Peter the Great modernized Imperial Russia, reforming both its army and navy. He was keen to catch up with other European powers and built the Baltic port Kronstadt, a shipyard at Arkhangelsk, and the ...
4
votes
1answer
173 views

When Janszoon's expedition landed in Australia in 1606, which one-person weapons (if any) were carried?

Basically what the title says. Wikipedia mentions early 17th century exploration of New Holland beginning in the first few years of the 1600s, but insofar as I can tell doesn't really go into what was ...
0
votes
2answers
264 views

When & where were three masted ships invented?

My friend and I got a speaking assignment for History about three-masted ships (and how they changed exploration trips), we've been googling for a few hours now but we can't seem to find a lot of ...
7
votes
2answers
166 views

What clergy went on the second Bering expedition?

Vitus Bering led two seaborne expeditions to explore the Russian Far East. On the second expedition, he founded Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky by building a "City-Nativity" church [Богородско-Рождественской ...
2
votes
1answer
293 views

What country has the shortest history of human habitation?

Feel free to interpret the question as referring to either permanent human habitation or human habitation in general.
1
vote
0answers
95 views

How much of Marco Polo's accounts were actually the first Western record?

While there's already an answered question here about Marco Polo and fireworks, he is often credited with being the first Western record of many other innovations. One website, for example, credits ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Has there been evidence of ancient Chinese exploration of Australia?

Has there been evidence of ancient Chinese exploration of Australia? Specifically, up through the Middle Ages, before there was extensive contact with Europeans?
2
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0answers
103 views

Independent persons founding personal fiefdoms

Question: I am interested to know of any more possible instances like Sarawak and the Cocos-Keeling Islands described below, where individuals have managed to establish de facto fiefdoms or states ...
3
votes
1answer
856 views

Why didn't the Franklin expedition seek assistance from the Inuit?

The Franklin expedition has been in the news again recently, as the wreck of the HMS Terror was recently located by the Arctic Research Foundation. This follows the discovery of the wreck of the HMS ...
11
votes
5answers
4k views

Why didn't Romans conquer/explore African Atlantic Coast?

I know that the Romans when they were on their empire's peak around the 1st and 2nd century AD, controlled the northern coast of Africa and had the Sahara desert as some kind of natural "wall" as well ...
1
vote
0answers
117 views

Is there a process name for islanders becoming unisolated?

Basically I would like to know if there is an official term for the process which an independent island would undertake once reaching the point in societal/technological development to travel to other ...
1
vote
1answer
363 views

What sort of cold weather clothing did they wear on the Ross expedition to the Antarctic?

James Ross led an early expedition to the Antarctic from 1839 to 1843, aboard the ships HMS Erebus and HMS Terror. After his voyage, nearly thirty years passed before the next Antarctic expedition. ...
21
votes
2answers
4k views

What did Vikings wear in cold wet conditions at sea?

As you can see from this BBC documentary, the crew of this 2009 summertime journey from Denmark to Ireland in a Viking longship suffered from hypothermia (approx 00:20:00 into the video), even though ...
2
votes
1answer
454 views

Why did Meriwether Lewis think that William Clark was coming to help him just before he killed himself?

It is well known that Meriwether Lewis suffered from some kind of mental illness, and that the his symptoms were especially pronounced during his final days of life, in the weeks leading up to his ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

Were there any Chinese expeditions to explore the world? If not, why not?

It occurred to me today that all essential historical exploration was done by the Europeans, who discovered the Americas and mapped most of the world. This got me wondering about Eastern civilization....
3
votes
0answers
109 views

What convinced the Europeans that they hadn't landed in Asia? [duplicate]

Famously, when Columbus (and several other European explorers) landed in the New World, they thought they'd reached Asia. Hence, for example, our use of the word "Indians" for the local peoples. ...
1
vote
1answer
255 views

Did the indigenous inhabitants of Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia originate from the same diaspora? [closed]

Pacific settlement is spread over a very wide area, grouped into three common ethic or geographic groupings: Did the indigenous inhabitants of these regions originate from the same diaspora?
4
votes
1answer
346 views

The land of gold described in Genesis

Genesis 2:11-12 describes a land called Havillah, where there is very good gold. Were there historical attempts made to locate this land, and what do we know about such expeditions if they did exist?
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Around the time of Columbus, were there other failed attempts?

In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. He sailed farther than anyone else had ever done, on three tiny ill-equipped ships. After days of sailing he finally reached his intended destination and ...
7
votes
1answer
254 views

How does finding a Franklin ship change what we know about the expedition?

An expedition to find the Franklin ships has found one. At this point, the searchers aren't sure if they've found HMS Erebus or HMS Terror. But sonar images from the waters of Victoria Strait, just ...
10
votes
5answers
11k views

Why was the spice trade so profitable in the 15th century?

During the 16th century, the Portuguese captured Melaka to dominate the lucrative spice trade; other city states such as Aceh, Banten, Brunei and Pegu also sprung up by exporting and trading spices. ...
-4
votes
1answer
138 views

Franklin's missing ships [closed]

I know there have been recent searches for the Erebus and Terror but I can't seem to find anything up to date on any findings. Do you suppose it utterly possible with the ongoing melting of the Arctic ...
5
votes
2answers
591 views

What led to the romantic perception of the Mayan civilization?

When the territories of the Mayan civilization were conquered in Mesoamerica, the European priests burnt all the books and references they could find about the Mayan culture. It was not until 1839 ...
5
votes
1answer
470 views

Were Magellan's wife and kids held hostage?

I feel like I read somewhere that, in an attempt to make sure Ferdinand Magellan returned to Spain, King Charles held his wife and kids hostage (or at least kept them in the area) until he returned ...
5
votes
1answer
471 views

How did Diego Gutiérrez know the boundaries (shape of the Americas) when he drew the 1562 Map of America

The map drawn by Diego Gutiérrez in 1562 shows both North and South American shapes (borders). How did he (or the 15th century Europeans) know the shapes of the American continents and their geography ...
32
votes
3answers
2k views

Did anyone in Europe predict the existence of the Americas?

According to the answer of this question, Columbus was pretty much unique in his belief that the world was small enough and Asia was big enough to make sailing west to Asia possible. Everyone else ...
1
vote
1answer
672 views

In 1492, what was the shortest distance you could travel to discover the new world from the old world? [closed]

In 1492, when Christopher Columbus brought the new world to the attention of the old world. What was the extent of the known world, and what was the shortest distance someone could have travelled to ...
21
votes
5answers
20k views

Did Antarctica remain entirely unvisited by humans until the early 19th century?

Antarctica today is covered permanently by thick layers of ice, making it extremely inhospitable to humans. And, unlike the Arctic regions, it had no indigenous population of humans when modern man ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

Was Christopher Colombus Polish?

A Polish friend of mine stated that Colombus was of Polish heritage. Claims are made that he was a Polish immigrant to Italy, and that he came from a disgraced noble family in Poland. http://www....
16
votes
1answer
1k views

Where was the furthest extent of Arabian trade explorations?

Traders from Arabia travelled to and traded with Roman and Asian empires and this Nabataean Sea Merchants article. How far did Arabian traders travel - where was the furthest extent of their ...
0
votes
1answer
169 views

Could Columbus have suspected the New World lay on his path to India? [closed]

According to most historical textbooks Columbus made mistakes while measuring the size of the Earth. This led him to believe, that he can travel to India westwards in a reasonable time. This is ...
10
votes
2answers
543 views

How Many Surface Ships Have Reached the North Pole?

I realize that the nuclear-powered icebreaker Arktika (Soviet Union) reached the north pole on August 17, 1977. However, I would like to know of any other ships that have also reached the North Pole. ...
69
votes
8answers
22k views

Why was Africa colonized last of the continents in the Age of Discovery?

One thing that I always wondered is during the time where European powers were dividing up the world amongst themselves (1500-1900 roughly), why was it that Africa seemed to lag behind in colonization,...
36
votes
6answers
13k views

How did people travel to remote islands like Easter Island?

Easter Island is extremely remote, being thousands of kilometers from its nearest neighbor. How did people get there safely, and how did they even know it was there?