Cartographers and historians wondered how the Turkish admiral could find the most notable map of XX century. As it was mentioned above, Piri Reis wrote that, he had made western part of the map according to notes made by Columbus on the map he used during his first travel.
Even if Piri Reis used “Columbus’s lost map”, he had found it in an unknown situation. Probably, the Turkish admiral was obliged to keep mentioned map in one of strategic buildings of Istanbul as a historical document after using it.
There are some questions to clear the issue.
Several important questions appear:
1. First, who were real authors of manuscripts found by P. Reis?
2. Second, did Columbus have an original copy of the map (the part describing America and West Africa) during his first travel? Then, how could the Turkish admiral find mentioned map?
3. Third, how could the Turkish admiral find mentioned map? It is obvious that, the sea traveler couldn’t be the author of the mysterious map. Outlines of the New World discovered by him in 1492 were drawn in mentioned map before the expedition left Spain.
4. Fourth, who is the real author of the map and how could he determine corresponding outlines and coordinates?
5. Fifth, how could the map appear in the Topkapi Palace Museum of Istanbul and why weren’t historians, geographers and cartographers aware of its existence until it was found in 1929. What was the reason?
According to historical sources, Piri Reis usually spent a lot of time in the library of the Empire in order to analyze ancient documents and maps. The map, which described outlines exactly, attracted attention of Turkish scientists. That map was one of the first maps, which described outlines of America (for the first time, outlines of America were drawn by Juan de la Cosa in 1500 and then by Cantino in 1502). Besides it, the map included outlines of North America and Antarctica. It turns out that, Columbus’s lost map was in Istanbul.
It is possible to understand it by looking at pictures of vessels drawn on the map.
1. There were caravels, carracks and naos in the western part of the map, though Piri Reis’s navy consisted of galeras, galeas, fusts and other vessels. So, the author wanted to mention that, there was an unknown continent between Eastern Asia and Western Europe and that continent was discovered by Spaniards.
2. Mentioned pictures of vessels prove Piri Reis’s supposition about “Columbus’s map”. The Genoese admiral had used caravels, carracks and naos when he travelled to coasts of the New World and proved that those vessels were important during long ocean passages.
As there weren’t aerocosmic technologies then, scientists didn’t believe statements of the Turkish admiral. None of maps made during the age of Isgandar has remained until present time. It is known that, Isgandar returned to Mesopotamia with the help of the commander of his navy Nearh after his march to India. The navy didn’t meet with difficulties during the travel.
The Greek merchant, traveler and geographer from Massalia by name Pifey left his motherland and started his travel in 325 BC, when troops of Isgandar returned to Greece. He used very difficult route and reached British Isles, some coasts of North Europe including Tule Island (was described on the map of Eratosthenes) and Baltic Sea. If the Greek traveler hadn’t corresponding map, he couldn’t achieve success in such difficult travel.
Best regards,
The member of Azerbaijan Geographic Society, writer/ investigator Ramiz Deniz
email: [email protected],
          [email protected]


  • Coğrafiya və Təbii Resurslar
  • ad
Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences Institute of Geography National Library of Azerbaijan GoMap National Geographic