AND HERE'S SOME MORE RECENT SUPPORTING RESEARCH: This information was posted by Hu McCulloch recently in sci.archaeology. Indologist confirms maize in ancient sculptures.
I was adding these articles about the very interesting carvings of what look like ears of corn in a number of medieval Indian temples in May of '97. From this file you can go to a number of articles that can update you about some of the issues being debated.
I was quite excited to find that article by Carl Johannessen and Ann Parker in ECONOMIC BOTANY at the time. Of course plenty of people have pointed out to me since then that these corn-like objects in the hands of Indian "Corn Goddesses" could represent something else besides corn.
Now I have the photos of these carvings available right here on my webpage, and anyone who wishes can take a look at them for themselves. Oh, yes, these are the small miracles of the Internet... These are black-and-white images, and not of too good a quality. Better images are now (Feb '98) also available elsewhere, and I provide the URLs further on. But these pictures do give a fair impression of what we're talking about... So here they are...
And here is the link to my other webpage @trends.ca where some more recent articles about maize are available.
So what else could have these carvings represented besides corn? Well, I've seen many different versions of what that may have been offered by Johannessen's critics... But it seems quite obvious that a coherent "alternative explanation" is eluding them; they all seem to disagree with each other about this. In the following articles, various possibilities, some of them rather comical, have been discussed at length.
The best version I've seen so far was that these objects could have represented some "Mythololgical Fruit Of Plenty"... But what about this possibility, Could the very concept of the "Ancient Indian Mythololgical Fruit Of Plenty" have been based... on corn? I don't think that this is impossible, seeing that corn may have been in India more than 2000 years ago already. Anyway, such a possibility also was considered at a later point in these discussion threads...