“And we went before to ship, and sailed unto Assos, there intending to take in Paul:”
Both Spain and Portugal claim to have discovered Brazil in the 16th century. However, mounting evidence suggests that neither country can claim discovery of Brazil.
Guanabar Bay is on the Brazilian coast, less than 10 miles from Rio de Janeiro. In 1976, a diver discovered two unbroken amphoras at the bottom of the bay. Amphoras were tall storage pots that were commonly made and used by the Romans. In 1982, an archaeologist discovered thousands of fragments from still more Roman amphoras in the same area. Among the fragments were 200 amphora necks. The styles of these amphoras indicate that they were made in second century A.D. Rome.
Ancient Roman shipwrecks have also been found in the Azores islands off the west coast of Spain. The Azores would have been a good European starting point for crossing the Atlantic. The shortest route across the Atlantic from the Azores lands one on the coast of Brazil. Modern sailing ships make the crossing in only 18 days. So even before the amphoras were found, it would not have been unreasonable to suppose that the Romans, who were skilled sailors, had made the crossing. The discovery of the amphoras proves that at least one Roman ship made the trip.
The belief that up to Columbus’ time people assumed the world was flat is a myth. God created intelligent and curious human beings with the ability to explore and learn about God’s creation.
Thank You, Lord, for allowing me to appreciate Your creation. Amen.
Science Frontiers, p. 25, “Romans in Rio?” Photo: Amphoras taken from shipwrecks on display in the Museum of Underwater Archaeology at Bodrum Castle, Turkey. Courtesy of Ad Meskens. (CC-BY-SA 3.0)