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

In article <5b3jas$7h5@news1.io.org>, Yuri Kuchinsky <yuku@io.org> wrote:
>bruce w. ritchings (bwr@icbr.ifas.ufl.edu) wrote:


>The importance of Johannessen's research is that it suggests that
>mythological and cultural elements migrated along with the seeds and were
>adopted in India. This means that a substantial number of people migrated
>from America to India -- otherwise it would have been impossible for
>those cultural elements to establish themselves in India.

Now, wait a minute.  This is a pretty radical claim, and one
unsubstantiated by facts.  Take, for example, the spread of Christianity,
which was done predominantly by tiny groups of missionaries.  If large
numbers of people went, why don't they show up in other aspects of
culture, or in "foreigners' enclaves?"  

>Another important background consideration is the fact that we know that
>Indian culture and society had a period of expansion culminating at the
>time when the whole of Indonesia was Hindu, early in the 1 millenium. You
>can see on the map that Bali is quite far from India. So Indian culture
>was a maritime culture, and they were skilled in ocean travel.

Look at a map again.  You will note that to get from India to Bali, it is
easy to go along the coast from port to port (up and around to modern day
Malaysia, down to Sumatra, Java, and then to Bali.  As I look at the map,
I don't see a single point at which they would have spent an entire day
out of sight of land.  There's a *huge* gap between this feat and sailing
across the open Pacific.  

>Generally, I believe there's a strong possibility that ancient native
>Americans possessed a sophisticated maritime culture that linked with the
>maritime culture of India, and that these cultural areas were exchanging

If there was a sophisticated maritime culture in the Americas, where was
it?  What evidence do you base it on?  There is lots of evidence of small
boats, mostly for fishing, up and down the Pacific coast, but not of
anything more significant.


>As I say, these are important issues that definitely need further
>research. We are not even close to having all the answers. Everyone is so
>busy slamming each other in these discussions that we simply don't have
>the time to formulate constructive and testable hypotheses to explain
>these findings... <grin>

Actually, I thought that for the most part we are putting together test
hypotheses and comparing them to the extensive body of already existing
data that bear on the subject.  

H1: The Indians of (sometime between 1st c. BC and 12th c. AD) had the
maritime technology to sail across the Pacific *systematically* (that is, 
not simply a ship cast adrift on the open Pacific that lucks out).


You don't always need to do new research to make sense of new hypotheses.

Julia Smith
University of Pittsburgh

Follow-Ups: References: