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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.
> Greg,
> But did you see where Johannessen discusses maize pollen in his ECONOMIC
> BOTANY article? He talks about new findings in cores from northern India.
> Best,
> Yuri.

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
domesticated grasses).

All (or most) grasses have basically the same pollen morphology (it has been
suggested several
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.