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Re: ancient navigation

Yuri Kuchinsky (yuku@mail.trends.ca) wrote:
: Paul J. Gans (gans@scholar.nyu.edu) wrote:
:       ...
: : The absense of maize from excavated sites in the old
: : world is also well documented. 
: How's this again, Paul? Perhaps you can explain to us how such an absense
: was documented? Or how can an absense of anything be documented? 

When a site is excavated, ALL of the plant materials found are
cataloged.  Parts of maize are relatively resistant to decay.
As far as I know, NO maize has ever been found in an old world
site, pre-Columbus.  

: The evidence for precolumbian Old World maize is abundant. It includes
: botanical, literary, linguistic, and, yes, some archaeological evidence. 
: The carvings in India of objects that look very much like corncobs are an
: additional evidence, and a one that can be readily examined and verified
: by any interested party. I have photos of these Indian carvings on my
: webpage now. 

This is almost all wrong, and what is more, you've been shown
that it is wrong.  The archaeological evidence is non-existant,
the botanical evidence is non-existant, and the literary and
linguistic evidence is non-existant.  I'll speak briefly to the
latter.  It is VERY hard to know exactly what a given term used
in an old manuscript refers to.  In one of my fields I've spent
some time chasing down a single common word in medieval French.
You've presented simplistic interpretations of complex things
and then claimed them as truth.  Without actual archaelogical
remains or a careful description in writing, your case rests on
very very weak straw.

Carvings are a very special point.  I've posted about this before,
but of course you've ignored it.  It is almost IMPOSSIBLE to tell
what exactly a given small carving means.  A very large number of
objects look a good bit like corn cobs.  The fact that NO maize
of any sort has been recovered from that area clinches the fact.

You are highly arrogant to think that botanists have ignored
the origins of maize.  You've not read 2% of the literature on
the subject.  Yet you come charging in claiming to KNOW that
the botanists are wrong.  And you expect to be taken seriously.
As I've said before, if you have evidence, write it up and
submit it for publication.  Fame and fortune await you.  Or
are you afraid that your writings will be rejected out of hand
with the rejection letter listing tons of evidence you've never
heard of?

       ------ Paul J. Gans  [gans@scholar.chem.nyu.edu]