Goodbye Columbus, hello Samana Cay.
Goodbye Columbus, hello Samana Cay Samana Cay is a small island in the central Bahamas, uninhabited most of the time, and believed by some researchers to have been the location of Columbus's first landfall, on October 12, 1492.
The natives on the island that Columbus first landed on called it Guanahani.
Nearly 500 years after his historic voyage to the New World, Christopher Columbus's accepted point of arrival has shifted. The explorer first landed on the narrow, 9-mile-long island of Samana Cay in the Bahamas, according to a report presented at the National Geographic Society National Geographic Society
U.S. scientific society founded in 1888 in Washington, D.C., by a small group of eminent explorers and scientists “for the increase and diffusion of geographic knowledge. in Washington, D.C., last week. The island is 65 miles southeast of San Salvador, known as Watling Island prior to 1926, which many history books peg as the place where Columbus first dropped anchor.
The five-year study was directed by Joseph Judge, senior associate editor of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC magazine The National Geographic Magazine, later shortened to National Geographic, is the official journal of the National Geographic Society. It published its first issue in 1888, just nine months after the Society itself was founded. . He commissioned a new translation of a summary of Columbus's lost log written by a 16th-century priest. The voyage was then replotted by Luis Marden, a former NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC editor and transatlantic sailor, and his wife, mathematician Ethel Marden, taking into account the the effects of current and leeway, a ship's sideways slip due to wind. Other investigators have not used these crucial factors in their calculations, says Judge. The Mardens also based their work, which included a computerized retracing of the Atlantic crossing, on the recently discovered length of the sea league used to chart nautical distance in Columbus's time. The course plotted with these data ends up at a point about 10 miles east-northeast if Samana Cay.
Further analysis bolstered the Mardens' estimate. The 16th-century abstract of Columbus's log gives the general directions and distances he traveled after the initial landing to four other islands before going on to Cuba. One location in these Bahamian travels was pinned down with certainty; a computer program ran the course backward from that point, ending up at Samana Cay.
Earlier this year, Judge and several co-workers, including archaeologists Charles Hoffman and Nancy Hoffman of Northern Arizona University Northern Arizona University (NAU) is a public university in Flagstaff, Arizona in the United States.
As of Fall 2007, the university has 21,352 students, 13,989 of these are situated in the main Flagstaff campus<ref name="Enrollment" />. in Flagstaff Flagstaff, city (1990 pop. 45,857), seat of Coconino co., N Ariz., near the San Francisco Peaks; inc. 1894. Lumbering, ranching, and a lively tourist trade thrive in the region, where many ruined pueblos, numerous state parks, several lakes, and large pine forests , confirmed that Samana Cay was inhabited, at least seasonally, at the time of Columbus's arrival. The group uncovered 10 archaeological sites, along with pottery and other artifacts artifacts
see specimen artifacts. .
At least eight other islands in the Bahamas have been proposed as the site of Columbus's initial landing. Samana Cay was first proposed in 1882 by Gustavus Fox, who had been Abraham Lincoln's assistant secretary of the Navy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (abbrev. "ASN") is the title given to certain senior officials in the U.S. Department of the Navy. They serve as chief assistants to the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV). . Other scholars, however, dismissed his argument. In 1942, Harvard University historial Samuel Eliot Morison Samuel Eliot Morison, Rear Admiral, Reserve (July 9, 1887 – May 15, 1976) was an American historian, noted for producing works of maritime history that were both authoritative and highly readable. asserted that Columbus arrived at Watling Island, or San Salvador, a view that researchers began to challenge several years ago.
The argument over when Columbus landed has not been conclusively settled, but Judge says he is "98 percent sure" that Samana Cay is the answer. "Perhaps infallible proof will come only with discovery of the original Columbus log and chart," he adds.