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Re: maize in Europe and India: a twisted tale
> : >I think this, too, is on its way...
> : Actually, I just forgot this. The pollen is equivocal in all cases.
> In : some cases the pollen was from secure pre-Columbian contexts but we
> don't : know that it was maize pollen, for sure. At that time they
> tended to : guess by the size of the grains, since most grasses (which
> include many : crops -- maize, Sorghum, millet, rice -- and many wild or
> : semi-domesticates (like Bamboo) have pollen with similar morphology..
> The : pollen under discussion is a bit small but just squeaks within the
> lower : range of maize (this according to Mangelsdorf and others) -- so
> it could : be maize, but it could be other things.
> : The question could easily be settled now, of course.
> But did you see where Johannessen discusses maize pollen in his ECONOMIC
> BOTANY article? He talks about new findings in cores from northern India.
Well, as Jeff Baker wrote, maize pollen cannot be positively
identified, so the pollen evidence is pretty pointless,
we need cobs.
from Jeff Baker:
If it is in the lower range of the size for maize then it is
indistinguishable from any of a wide variety of wild grasses (or old world
All (or most) grasses have basically the same pollen morphology (it has been
times that domesticated zea has a different exine from wild zea, but this
hypothesis has been shown to be false). Maize pollen is simply at the
upper end of the size spectrum.