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Historical Tidbit Thursdays - Texas Tales - Ancient Chinese Explorers In Texas - #TidbitThursday


Welcome to Historical Tidbit Thursdays. The next few weeks I'll be sharing some interesting tidbits I found while researching Texas treasures and tales. Hope you enjoy!

Did ancient Chinese Explorers find their way to Texas?

A Chinese book called "Sun-Hai Ching" (or "Shun-Hai King")(translated literally as "Classic of Mountains and Seas"), written before the 4th century BC, contained short snippets of myths, geography, and creatures. It describes over 550 mountains, 300 rivers and 277 animals.

According to the "Texas Tales" book, the route described in a particular section computer-matched one strip of land between 10 and 20 miles wide from central Wyoming to the mouth of Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend National Park in western Texas. The detailed descriptions seemed to describe topography, minerals, waterflows, plants and animals in these regions.

One particular animal that was described, the peccary (a small pig) or javelin with its gray hair and collar are native only to the American southwest and Mexico.

It's known that Chinese had extensive trade routes with a place they called "Fusang" where they claimed people "barked like dogs". These people could possibly be the Apaches whose language sounds like barking to foreign ears. Trading lasted 300-500 years and ended in 1000 AD.

Interestingly, ancient Chinese recipes contained references to pepper pod or chili pepper and the legumes (which we call the peanut), both of which are native to the Americas. Some of these recipes have been found in Chinese tombs over 4000 years old!

"Texas Tales" by C.F. Eckhardt; ISBN#1-55622-141-X

Picture Source: https://www.britannica.com/animal/peccary

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