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Re: Maize in India, why not ask them?

prakash@acd.tusk.edu wrote:

> The maize you are referring is prominently visible in the somnathpur
> temple in the Karnataka state of South India. 

More than one temple, Prakash. There're dozens of such temples in the

> The British journal
> "Nature" once carried an article on it wondering how maize which is from
> Central America was depicted in a 12th century temple.

That was a short article by Dr. Carl Johannessen, of the University of
Oregon. And then, there was also a reply from two scholars, Payak and

NATURE, 1988, 332, 587
NATURE, 1988, 335, 773

Also, there were 2 articles in ECONOMIC BOTANY about it.

ECONOMIC BOTANY, 1989, 43, 164
ECONOMIC BOTANY, 1993, 47, 202

> I believe that temple carvings look like maize but it is really
> not the maize cob but may be a local fruit.

Many possibilities for identifying these carvings were offered by various 
critics. None of them seem satisfactory or agreed upon. So the jury is 
still out. Meanwhile, the evidence from studying the genetic liniages of 
maize in India strongly points to the antiquity of maize in India. Even 
the critics of Johannessen admit this.

Indian maize exhibits a number of characteristics that are rare in
America. There's a great genetic variability of maize in India, a sign of
its antiquity there. So critics of Johannessen are in effect saying that
although maize was in India before Columbus, Somnathpur carvings don't
represent it. A somewhat ambiguous position. 

Best regards,

Yuri Kuchinsky          | "Where there is the Tree of Knowledge, there
------------------------| is always Paradise: so say the most ancient 
Toronto ... the Earth   | and the most modern serpents."  F. Nietzsche
    --- my webpage: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/3988 ---