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It is one of the unsolved questions in modern science whether or not the pre-Columbian peoples of the New World developed completely independent of cultural interactions with the Old World. Many scientists admit that there are many and often notable matches between cultures in pre-Columbian America and those of the Mediterranean world. Yet even more than 500 years after the discovery of America (1492) by Christopher Columbus there is no clear answer to this question.

Very interesting finds such as nicotine in Egyptian Mummies (1993) or Mexican agave fibers in ancient ships in the Mediterranean (2002) provide completely new evidence that contact with the old American Cultures must have existed already thousands of years ago.

With a new expedition, Dominique Grlitz plans to provide evidence for the feasibility of prehistoric sea voyages on the primeval route from Morocco across the Caribbean to Florida. This ocean voyage is supposed to provide final proof that millennia before the beginning of modern times, the Atlantic had been crossed by merchants in both directions.

The back ground

The experienced expedition leader Dr. Dominique Grlitz has been researching for more than 20 years on the trans-Atlantic Contacts before Columbus. In his PhD at FAU Erlangen, he scientifically confirmed the life’s work of Dr. Svetlana Balabanova. In the 1990s she had already discovered the alcaloids nicotine and cocaine in thousands of Egyptian mummies. She caused a big controversy because nobody expected these plant substances in mummies, which were embalmed more than 3,000 years before the discovery of America.

With his research, Grlitz underscored that these alcaloids were not originated from unknown and now extinct plants from Africa or Asia. Furthermore, he provided evidence that these plants also could not spread across the Atlantic without human intervention. His work was targeted on the dispersal and cultural history of four crops that put the problem of trans-Atlantic contacts before Columbus in special dimensions. Today there are new discoveries from more ancient American crops in the Mediterranean region, like North American Sunflowers (Rome) or Central American Vanilla (Israel). For that reason, it is long overdue to investigate the long-distance trade networks of antiquity by a large experimental sail craft.

The goal

The renewed journey on a predetermined route along ancient trading partners from the Old to the New World will fuel research on overseas contacts before Columbus. Just as time breaks through all walls, ABORA V's journey will blow our imagination about commercial trading ahead of time. The expedition leader has been researching transatlantic contacts before Columbus for many years. With his doctoral thesis and his expeditions, he underscores the thesis that the prehistoric peoples operated across the Atlantic. And that in both directions!

Early seafaring paved the way to a world of limitless trade. The first spark of globalization took place thousands of years ago. Today it is common place.

The planned sea route of the ABORA V: It starts in Rabat/Morocco and leads for the first time via the Canary Islands to Cuba and further to the Mayan city of Tulum/Yucatn.
Should the boat still be functional, the expedition sails on the Gulf Stream via Havana to Florida. The cosmopolitan Miami is the destination of the transatlantic voyage of over 5,500 nautical miles, that is more than 10,000 kilometers.

Copyright | Dominique Grlitz • Dr.-S.-Allende-Str. 46 • D − 09119 Chemnitz | Telefon 0049 - (0)371 725 478 0 | Mobil 0049 − (0)163 - 511 57 66 |

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