Above is a good one to start this cyberexperience...
Yes, the quality of pictures could be better... But do these look like pomegranates, as some of our critics suggested? I don't think so...
While some of these may look like our "normal" ears of corn we'd find in a supermarket, others are stubby and "bulge at the sides". These probably represent unusual varieties of maize not often found in the Americas today. Also, many of these corn ears repesentations are bent in a peculiar way. According to Johannessen, this may be the result of uneven drying under the sun after harvesting. In the highlands of India many unusual "ancient" varieties of maize still grow today.
This is one more. Note here that in the picture on the left above the kernels are becoming smaller at the tip. Also it is interesting to note that many of the ornaments these goddesses wear are clearly based on corn motifs. Corn was certainly very important in the culture of the people who constructed these temples. The goddesses wear long necklaces that seem like stringed maize kernels, for example. Clearly these peoples possessed complex fertility rituals associated with corn that they enacted in these temples.
Above is a general overview of how these statues were presented by their sculptors in these 13th century temples in Somnathpur, near Mysore, Karnataka, India.
Would you like to see some more of these?
These are the links to two other Internet sites where some better quality colour images are available:
Here's the link to the homepage of Prof. Carl Johannessen of the University of Oregon, the researcher who has done a lot recently to investigate this fascinating subject. And also many other related subjects.
And here's the link to some of the images available at the homepage of Hu McCulloch. On his homepage he has plenty of information about this and also other little known subjects in the area of ancient American history. This is his Archaeological Outliers Page.
These pictures are reproduced from ECONOMIC BOTANY, 43(2), 1989, for educational purposes only. Not for commercial use. Copyright by the New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY 10458.
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