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Re: maize in ancient India: transpacific links (cont.)

Randal Allison (rallison@mail.myriad.net) wrote:
: yuku@io.org (Yuri Kuchinsky) wrote:

: >This alone, to me, is a strong indication of antiquity. It is a matter
: >well-known to anthropologists that the higher one goes into the
: >mountain areas, the more ancient and the more indigenous the tribes
: >residing there are. Usually, invading tribes throughout history come
: >in from the plains and push the previous residents (the more
: >indigenous peoples) to less fertile areas at higher elevations.
: >(Alternately, they can be pushed further into the jungle areas.) In
: >turn, the previous arrivals to this general area push the even more
: >indigenous people ever higher up into the hills. This sort of a
: >process was, and of course still is, quite common around the world.
: >(The destruction of native cultures is occurring at a very high rate
: >currently.)
: > 

:    I'm not even going to touch this one...."more indigenous"?? You either 
: is, or you ain't!! Also, this hypothesis of conquest-and-retreat is not 
: the norm

I think you deliberately try not to see the point I'm trying to make. 
It's a self-evident process that I often observed myself in my travels
around the world, in the Philippines, for example. 

: <snip>
: >Who is minimizing what here? I, for one, _know_ how creative and talented
: >the ancient Americans were, and how much they have accomplished. The
: >diffusionists that I read only wish to describe the particulars of
: >cultural evolution objectively -- the way it was in reality. That reality
: >clearly included cultural interaction across the Pacific that went _both
: >ways_, starting from a very early date. To pretend that good evidence for
: >this does not exist, to close one's eyes to all this, is to choose to
: >live in a world of delusion, it seems to me... 

:    So, are you saying that maize came FROM the Americas??


: And are you 
: admitting that the native peoples of the Americas did indeed have the 
: ability to creat their own civilizations and cultivate crops unknown in 
: the Old World??

Correct. I always did.

: To date, you have stood foursquare in opposition to any 
: suggestion that anything of importance came from the New World, or even 
: occured there without Polynesian/Chinese/Japanese, or Old World group _du 
: jour_ to bring it here. Quite a switch.

This is a deliberate distortion of my position. (Are we surprised?) I've
always maintained that the sweet potato (that diffused, I think, with
human assistance, _from_ America westward) was the best indicator that
diffusion was for real. Untill now, that is. Now I think, the corn is the
"leading indicator". The importance of this unfolding story of maize is
that it strongly indicates _the cultural diffusion_ from America, as well
as simply the diffusion of the seeds. (Because the iconographic evidence
from these temples indicates that the fertility rituals associated with
corn were borrowed by the Old World tribes that also borrowed the seeds). 
In other words, what we are really seeing is that cross-oceanic travel was
not an isolated, perhaps accidental, occurrence of contact. It indicates
stronger links, i.e. perhaps repeated trips there and back.  This is
something that even Needham was loth to postulate as a working hypothesis.
Now, we can go further than him, and on a good basis!

These are the full implications of this maize evidence. A better smoking
gun I could not imagine...


            =O=    Yuri Kuchinsky in Toronto    =O=
  --- a webpage like any other...  http://www.io.org/~yuku ---
We should always be disposed to believe that that which 
appears white is really black, if the hierarchy of the 
Church so decides       ===      St. Ignatius of Loyola

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