Article 74 of 118
  
Subject:      maize in Europe, India before Columbus (cont.)
From:         yuku@io.org (Yuri Kuchinsky)
Date:         1996/12/28
Newsgroups:   sci.archaeology.mesoamerican,sci.archaeology,bionet.general,
sci.anthropology,sci.bio.misc,sci.agriculture,sci.bio.botany


[follow-ups directed to: sci.archaeology,sci.anthropology,sci.bio.misc]

THE STRANGE STORY OF MAIZE IN THE OLD WORLD

[continued from the previous post]

And now, to continue with Jeffreys. He gives in his article plenty
of evidence for the antiquity of maize in India, in China, and in
the Philippines. Persuasive evidence, it seems to me. Here are the
quotes he gives from the Russian botanist N. N. Kuleshov who
published his work in 1928 (translated into English in 1954),

      ...we arrived at the conclusion that in the maizes of Asia we
      have observed an array of characters and peculiarities which
      are unknown in America, or which are extremely rare in
      America. (p. 380)

Jeffreys continues,

      Kuleshov reviewed the work of Vavilov and concluded that "the
      striking facts ... inevitably lead to the idea that Asian
      maize, if it be not viewed as native, at any rate is very
      ancient. These characteristics which are seen in Asiatic maize
      attest to this explanation... [I omit the technical details]
      (ibid.)

Further, Jeffreys says,

      Kuleshov stated the crux as he saw it: "Now concerning the
      time interval in question, one must understand when and how
      maize could have removed from America into this isolated wild
      land [he is speaking here about a remote area in "Upper
      Burmah" where he thought the origins of some specific Asian
      breeds of maize may be found], given there a mutation, and as
      a mutant diffused from the Philippines to Manchuria." He
      offered a tentative solution: "... as a conjecture we should
      suppose that likely there was an earlier cultivation of maize
      in Asia than the time of the first landing by the Portuguese
      on the shores of Asia in 1516.... The facts, which were
      established by us, return us anew to this supposition and this
      time with a great deal of conviction" (ibid.)

Now, Jeffreys' article contains much more about maize in ancient
Asia, but it must wait for a further opportunity for me to continue
with this synopsis. I will make another post about this later.

Of course Jeffreys wrote this article nearly 30 years ago. Much has
been done since then to further this story of maize. I must say at
this point that Jeffreys, on the basis of his locating maize very
early in Asia Minor, in Turkey, comes to the conclusion that maize
came there from America very early pre-Columbus across the Atlantic,
and then spread to Asia and to Europe. I disagree with him on this,
but will not state my opinion on this strongly -- perhaps the
question may allow for different interpretations, and, in any case,
this part of his argument is not crucial for me. Myself, I think,
including of the basis of the recent research by Johannessen, that
India and America were linked very early by travellers across the
Pacific. Much evidence exists for this -- independent of the maize.
For instance, the strong indicators that Mesoamerican calendars and
day names are linked with the Indian calendars and zodiacs. On this,
the work of David H. Kelley is extremely instructive. See, for
instance, his DECIPHERING THE MAYAN SCRIPT, 1976, Austin.

But one thing that Jeffreys makes perfectly clear is, Maize was in
the Old World way before the "discovery of America" by the
Europeans.

Best regards,

Yuri.

[This is the conclusion for now. I will try to continue my summary of
Jeffreys' article in the next few days.]

            =O=    Yuri Kuchinsky in Toronto    =O=
  --- a webpage like any other...  http://www.io.org/~yuku ---

We should always be disposed to believe that that which
appears white is really black, if the hierarchy of the
Church so decides       ===      St. Ignatius of Loyola


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