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

Yuri speaks of maize as the best leading indictor that he can
imagine. Well, I can offer zero being given to India ,as the
Vedic texts list Maya. 

If the Maya reference in India is well known in other situations,
I'd like to particularly cite a Historia Mathematica journal
'reviews of papers' submitted by Dr. Gupta, on or about Feb. 1994.
In that article a Ph.D. candidate was researching the history of
the symbol zero - not the concept that clearly goes back
to 1800 BC (Egypt, the RMP and Babylon, Plimpton Tablet).

Without having the article at hand, all that I recall is that
the Vedic section that cited Maya was read as Ptolemy - a
gross mis-reading if I ever saw one.

On 28 Dec 1996, Yuri Kuchinsky wrote:

> 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??
> Correct.
> : 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!

Needham is an excellent source. He shows the Chinese Remainder theorem
coming to Hellenic era's like 100 AD (about the time of Diophantus).
Diffusion of math was well known and considered very important 
2,000 years ago.

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

is zero and another basis for our positional number system greater?

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year,

Milo Gardner
Sacramento, Calif.

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