(*This opinion & history feature article was written by Ivan Dikov for Pax Glocalica's sister publication, ArchaeologyinBulgaria.com)
When a person from the “Old World” (Africa, Asia, Europe) goes to the United States, they invariably come across the term “Pre-Columbian” at some point, regardless of their profession or the reason for their visit.
Chances are they had hardly ever been familiar with the notion of the “Pre-Columbian” Era before that. Unless perhaps they are a historian aware of the “Columbian Exchange” across the Atlantic.
This omission is an inadequacy in the present-day perception of world history that has to be rectified!
The term “Pre-Columbian” should be applied to pre-1492 Europe and the rest of the “Old World” just as much as it is applied to the “New World”, i.e. the Americas.
The argument for this is way too obvious and self-explanatory: the “Columbian Exchange” changed Europe, and, by extension, Asia and Africa, way too profoundly – regardless of how few present-day residents of these continents may realize it.
Nonetheless, now ever archaeological discoveries and the history of the Antiquity on the territory of present-day Bulgaria suggest how important to learn to perceive what used to be “Pre-Columbian Europe” and what it was like:
From the fact that historical reenactments of the cuisine of the Ancient Romans and Ancient Thracians are really awakening to the reality of the Pre-Columbian diet in Europe – all the way to the ground-breaking underwater archaeology discovery in Bulgaria’s Black Sea section of the world’s first “Pre-Columbian” Mediterranean “round ship”, aka “cog”, to have been seen since the Middle Ages!
In the most simplistic but still one of the most important realities of Pre-Columbian Europe, the Ancient Thracians and the Romans who conquered them had a diet that was devoid of beans, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, corn, sunflower, turkey, you name it.
And the round ship, or cog, used by Venice, Genoa, and other European states in the High and Late Middle Ages was the precursor to the development of the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria, that is, the type of ships famously used by Christopher Columbus to cross the Atlantic, and by the other pioneering European explorers from the Age of Discovery…
Read the rest of this article on ArchaeologyinBulgaria website here
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