[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Maize origins [was re: "Corn" in medieval Europe]

Domingo Martinez (agdndmc@showme.missouri.edu) wrote:

: Mr McCulloch, :  : I does not matter how beautiful are the photographs
Mr Johannessen will : provide.  The issue has been discussed for over two
months, I believe, in : sci.arch.mesoamerican, and even for the unusual
first proponent, the issue : cannot be demonstrated if corn cobs or
kernels are not found in the right : contexts in Asia or wherever your
imagination takes them.  And they have not : been found in all the
excavations. :  : That is it. 

Well, I beg to disagree. Why should we see this issue in such
black-or-white, either/or way? This is a complex historical investigation
we're talking about. A legitimate hypothesis has been suggested, viz. that
maize (along with some other American crops) has been in the "Old World"
before Columbus. Plenty of evidence to support this has been accumulated,
and more is being accumulated all the time. The opponents of this
hypothesis have not been able to invalidate it so far. Moreover, the
opponents disagree with each other widely about what these Indian stone
carvings portray. There's confusion in their camp...

If fossilized corncobs are found in India, the argument will be over,
sure. Ditto if genetic research proves (or disproves) beyond doubt that
maize was ancient in India. 

But until such time as decisive evidence shows up, the investigation
should continue and all further evidence should be considered. So the fact
that no fossils are available so far does not mean much. It's simply a
lack of evidence and is of little consequence. 

On the other hand, if archaeological site reports could be found from
relevant areas and relevant time period, and these site reports indicated
that maize was not a staple for those communities, this should strengthen
the "opponents" case considerably. The fact that no such site reports have
been cited should speak for itself... (In other words, I'm suggesting here
that "negative evidence" can well be used by both sides!)

: The pictures of the objects you are pushing so hard as Maize are :
subject to interpretation, and Indian archaeologists have reccognized them
as : "an imaginary fruit bearing pearls known in Sanskrit as
'Muktaphala'". (Payak, : M.M., and Sachan, J.K.S.  1993 "Maize Ears Not
Sculpted in 13th Century : Somnathpur Temple in India." Economic botany.
APR 01 1993, vol. 47 no. 2, P.  : 202). 

So what? Half a dozen similar "explanations" have been offered. The
confusion among such interpretations speaks for itself. 

Best regards,


Yuri Kuchinsky   | "Where there is the Tree of Knowledge, there
     -=-         | is always Paradise: so say the most ancient 
 in Toronto      | and the most modern serpents."  F. Nietzsche
 ----- my webpage is for now at: http://www.io.org/~yuku -----