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Re: maize in Europe, India before Columbus (cont.)

GKeyes6988 (gkeyes6988@aol.com) wrote:
: Yuri wrote:

: >And now, to continue with Jeffreys. He gives in his article plenty
: >of evidence for the antiquity of maize in India, in China, and in
: >the Philippines. Persuasive evidence, it seems to me. Here are the
: >quotes he gives from the Russian botanist N. N. Kuleshov who
: >published his work in 1928 (translated into English in 1954),
: >      ...we arrived at the conclusion that in the maizes of Asia we
: >      have observed an array of characters and peculiarities which
: >      are unknown in America, or which are extremely rare in
: >      America. (p. 380)

: Yup.  Odd that Jeffreys used Kuleshov's 1928 work when he had the work of
: the foremost authority on corn in the world (at the time of his --
: Jeffreys' -- writing) Paul Mangelsdorf.  Mangelsdorf also had the benefit
: of a greater data base and an understanding of genetics based upon DNA
: (not known until the 50's, remember? After Kuleshov wrote.).

This is an oversight in Jeffreys. But I don't only use his work.

: The reference here is to the "waxy endosperm" varieties of corn present in
: Asia. 

Not only this, Greg. Kuleshov was actually speaking about a whole "array
of characters and peculiarities which are unknown in America, or which are
extremely rare in America." I don't see how you could have missed this,
seeing that you included this very quote above...

: And indeed, Mangelsdorf says of it ;

:   "Varieties of corn pure for waxy endosperm are unknown among the races
: of maize in   America -- (Mangelsdorf 1971:143)"

: But, he continues: . . .  

:     "-- but the waxy character itself has been discovered in non-waxy
: varieties: in a New  England flint corn (Mangelsdorf, 1924) and in a South
: American variety (Breggar, 1928).     Bear (1944) reports that waxy
: endosperm is not an uncommon mutant in Corn Belt dent    varieties, he
: having found three separate mutations to waxy in three consecutive years
: in   a total population of some 100,000 selfed ears.

: "The fact that waxy maize occurs so commonly in a part of the world that
: also posses    waxy varieties of rice, sorghum, and millet can be
: attributed to artificial selection    (Mangelsdorf 143)."

All very well, but this is only one characteristic of many.


: In chapter 17, Mangelsdorf reviews the botanical evidence for
: pre-Columbian maize in Asia and Europe and finds it more than wanting --
: most especially the claims that Asian corns simply had features not
: existing in America, as Jeffreys claims.  He takes these claims
: individually and dissolves them.

Well, your authority is not necessarily better than my authority...

: >Jeffreys continues,
:  >     Kuleshov reviewed the work of Vavilov and concluded that "the
:  >    striking facts ... inevitably lead to the idea that Asian
:  >     maize, if it be not viewed as native, 

: Yep.  What Kuleshov is alluding to here is that many of his contemporaries
: thought corn ORIGINATED  in Asia and spread to America (And its clear here
: that he considers it a possibility).  This is sort of an indication of how
: far off base they were.

Really? And I thought that this (i. e. that they came to this conclusion) 
is an indication of how ancient maize is in India? 

Of course they were off base. Now, that research has progressed, we have
been able to answer some of these questions. But aren't you condemning
people on the basis of hindsight, which, we all know, is always 20/20?


: > I must say at
: >this point that Jeffreys, on the basis of his locating maize very
: >early in Asia Minor, in Turkey, comes to the conclusion that maize
: >came there from America very early pre-Columbus across the Atlantic,
: >and then spread to Asia and to Europe.

: Actually, Jeffreys first argued for an African-American connection through
: an Arab-Negro    trade route (Jeffreys 1953, PRE-COLUMBIAN NEGROS IN
: AMERICA)) which he thought started around 900 AD or so.  He didn't prove 
: that one either, but by golly, he knew SOMETHING must have diffused
: SOMEWHERE, so he just kept on going.  I'm happy for you that you can use
: his "evidence" for one diffusion for your own, other, different diffusion.
:  It's good to have a nice, flexible argument.

This is unfair, Greg. Jeffreys did the best he could to interpret the
data. Again, you're condemning him on the basis of hindsight. He _may have
been_ right about some things, and wrong about others. Don't you think
this is possible? Should we throw the baby away with the bathwater?

: > I disagree with him on this,
: >but will not state my opinion on this strongly -- perhaps the
: >question may allow for different interpretations, and, in any case,
: >this part of his argument is not crucial for me. Myself, I think,
: >including of the basis of the recent research by Johannessen, 

: I haven't forgotten this, but I've been away.
: >that
: >India and America were linked very early by travellers across the
: >Pacific. Much evidence exists for this -- independent of the maize.
: >For instance, the strong indicators that Mesoamerican calendars and
: >day names are linked with the Indian calendars and zodiacs. On this,
: >the work of David H. Kelley is extremely instructive. See, for
: >instance, his DECIPHERING THE MAYAN SCRIPT, 1976, Austin.
: Well, maybe another thread for calendars and the script.

And why not. The fact that Kelley demostrated American-India links is very

: But I will append
: to this another   note by Mangelsdorf.  He was here responding to Carter
: (our old friend from the Asian-American chicken)  (Carter 1950: "Plant
: Evidence for Early Contacts with America" in Southwest J. of Anthropology
: 6) who, while admitting that the case for pre-Columbian maize (in Asia)
: might not be as strong as it could be,t once you linked it with the
: possibility of a pre-Columbian exchange of COTTON it  became really
: convincing evidence.  Mangelsdorf responded:

Your bringing in the cotton is rather irrelevant. I knew about cotton a
long time ago. The matter of cotton diffusion is extremely complex and
technical, and I'm not so silly as to try to link cotton and maize. A
straw man.

Best regards,


            =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