Subject:      Re: maize in ancient India: transpacific links (cont.)
From:         yuku@io.org (Yuri Kuchinsky)
Date:         1997/01/09
Message-ID:   <5b3jas$7h5@news1.io.org>
Newsgroups:   sci.archaeology.mesoamerican,sci.bio.misc,bionet.general,sci.arch
aeology,sci.anthropology

bruce w. ritchings ([21]bwr@icbr.ifas.ufl.edu) wrote:

: Hey Maize Folks,
:       Let's assume that these maize carvings in India are real. If
: they date to somewhere around the first millenium, then they are much
: more recent archeologically than the corncobs found in caves and such
: from central and south America.

This is correct, Bruce.

: If this means that maize got across
: the Pacific from East to West, who took it, and when, and how?

These are important questions, definitely. Maize was domesticated in
America and, it seems, was taken across the Pacific to Asia in ancient
times.

The importance of Johannessen's research is that it suggests that
mythological and cultural elements migrated along with the seeds and were
adopted in India. This means that a substantial number of people migrated
from America to India -- otherwise it would have been impossible for
those cultural elements to establish themselves in India.

Who took it and when? Well, the first thing to consider is that quite a
few links between India and ancient America have already been documented
even before these maize findings. Of great importance among them are the
similarities in calendars, day names, and zodiacs.

Another important background consideration is the fact that we know that
Indian culture and society had a period of expansion culminating at the
time when the whole of Indonesia was Hindu, early in the 1 millenium. You
can see on the map that Bali is quite far from India. So Indian culture
was a maritime culture, and they were skilled in ocean travel.

Generally, I believe there's a strong possibility that ancient native
Americans possessed a sophisticated maritime culture that linked with the
maritime culture of India, and that these cultural areas were exchanging
information.

Another very important consideration is to see the Indian links in the
cultures of various Pacific islands -- there are plenty of those.

: During
: this time period, we know that the Polynesians were doing some serious
: ocean travel in the Pacific,

Well, the study of Polynesian navigation tells us that their sailing
craft about 3000 years ago was likely already superior to what Columbus
had.

: but I don't think there's any evidence
: that they went as far as India--or did they?

Well, Indian influences made it all the way to Polynesia... This is
generally accepted.

: Who else had the skill to
: do such travel at this time? Bruce Ritchings, University of Florida

As I say, these are important issues that definitely need further
research. We are not even close to having all the answers. Everyone is so
busy slamming each other in these discussions that we simply don't have
the time to formulate constructive and testable hypotheses to explain
these findings... 

Best wishes,

Yuri.

--
            =O=    Yuri Kuchinsky in Toronto    =O=
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