Ancient Egyptian Mummies and Tobacco and Cocaine? Today, many people believe that Christopher Columbus was not the first non-American to set foot in the New World. The Vikings, Chinese, Greeks, and Italians may have all been his predecessors. There is also a belief that ancient Egyptians were in the Americas as far back as 1,000 BC. The reason for their proposed journey is rather surprising. Archaeological findings show that Egyptians were adept at navigating the seas. For example, Queen Hatshepsut is known to have funded an expedition to the mysterious Land of Punt around 1477 BC. A relief depicting the journey has been found at Deir el-Bahri (in modern day Luxor). That mural shows large ships packed with men, gold, trees, and exotic animals. The flora and fauna shown in the artwork is thought to have existed along the coasts of African and the Arabian Peninsula. These findings show that the ancient Egyptians could complete some longer oceanic voyages.