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Re: maize in ancient india: strong transpacific links are indicated
In article <firstname.lastname@example.org> email@example.com (Yuri Kuchinsky) writes:
>Dr. Doug (firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote:
>: Now the task becomes, showing some evidence that maize traveled across
>: the ocean. Because it just might be that this area in India is the
>: last place that Asian maize existed before it went extinct. To me this
>: seems more plausible.
>I believe that almost all botanists by now have discounted the idea that
>maize could have been domesticated in Asia independently. There're no
>wild plant relatives to maize there.
On this point I am in complete agreement with Yuri. All research indicates
that maize is a New World domesticate - it has no antecendants in the
Old World. For this reason and because I don't believe there is any
credible natural dispersal hypothesis for maize, *IF* we found maize
in a Precolumbian Old World context this would be proof of some kind of
The problem is that we have *not* found maize in a Precolumbian Old World
context (at least not that I've ever seen reported) and the sculptural
identification is debatable. Therefore, IMO, maize is a very far cry
from the "smoking gun" which Yuri claims it to be.
ps. Yuri, notice I specify what it would take for me to change my mind,
what would it take for you to change yours?
Peter van Rossum