ancient corn

Yuri Kuchinsky yuku at
Tue Jun 24 11:24:22 EST 1997

bortiz at wrote:
: In article <5om5vo$fs9$1 at>,
:   yuku at (Yuri Kuchinsky) wrote:

: > And since you passed without comment my quote from a recent source : >
indicating that some plants diffused _from_ the Americas to the Old World,
: > I assume that you accept this as valid, and that thereby you now
accept : > that transoceanic contacts in ancient times were real.
Congratulations! I : > knew that as an objective scholar you would see the
validity of all that : > evidence... 

: Not at all- I do not think that there is sufficient evidence for the
: human- assisted movement of plants *from* the New World to the Old World
: before 1492 either.


So now it seems like you're slipping from the Truth, unfortunately... Oh,


: (Corn in India has been dealt with satisfactorily
: some time ago in sci.archaeology.mesoamerican,

Well... how did I manage to miss that? Can you remind?

: and I posted mangelsdorf's
: comments on corn in the Old World already).

And you think posting outdated opinions will do?


: What I was attempting,
: unsuccessfully, was to keep you focused on one topic until we dealt with
: it and avoid introducing others as a distraction.

I'm all for staying on topic! So how about you now give me a reason why
you don't like my evidence for sweet potato being brought from America to
Pacific islands long before Columbus? Even a little reason will do... You
would like to stay on topic, yes? 


: > The history of domestication of the bottle gourd (Lagenaria) is quite
: > interesting. It may have been the first domesticated plant ever. It
may : > have diffused to America with human assistance ca. 9,000 years
ago. Have : > you researched these theories? I read the CURRENT ANTHRO
article, and you : > may have dismissed the Lagenaria all too easily
there. If Sertima wanted : > to look for Africa connections, this is where
he should have looked : > (nothing to do with the Olmecs, though). Too bad
he is quite : > incompetent... 

: Yuri, remember above that we said that human transport put some limits on
: plant diffusion.


: We have just had an exhausting discussion (re:Ancient
: Navigation) where even Phoenician sailing to the NewWorld in say 800 B.C.
: was seriously questioned. Exactly, who would have brought Lagenaria
: siceraria to the New World 9000 B.C.?

And who sailed to Australia in 100,000 bc?

: Nobody in sub-Saharan Africa had
: domesticated anything by 9000 B.C. or 4000 B.C.

Why are you so sure about it? Donald Lathrap obviously disagrees.

: Why would a boat be
: loaded with inedible plants instead of food?

Because gourds had great religious importance, for one?

: Lagenaria siceraria is
: perfectly capable of floating over by itself and is fertile afterward.

Doesn't mean it did.

: Reed (1977), the editor, discussing this  in a summary of the conference,
: points out that these gourds can float in salt water for a year, be
: stored for 6 years and still be fertile.


: Reed points out that there is no
: archaeological evidence for the human diffusion hypothesis

And what kind of evidence may this be?

: and that
: floating over and natural dispersion is a viable mechanism.

Doesn't mean it happened this way. Or did I say this before already?

: By the way,
: the proposal by Lathrap being discussed by Reed proposed that humans
: brought the gourds over by 16,000 B.C. not 9000 B.C.

Yes, he was quite radical about his dates. But this in itself will not
alter his argument significantly. 

: Reed, C.A. 1977 "Origins of Agriculture: Discussion and some
: Conclusions," in * Origins of Agriculture* the Hague: Mouton ,pp.
: 917-953.

Now, Bernard, we've been discussing Lagenaria for a long time on the Net. 
I will post now a long file with relevant information for interested
people to get some background on this.

To state my position quite simply, I don't think Lagenaria case provides
irrefutable proof of human assisted diffusion. (Sweet potato does,
according to competent scholars.) Yet I believe that, on the whole, the
balance of probabilities is that it diffused with human assistance very

I will return to banana later, after we clear up these other important



Yuri Kuchinsky   | "Where there is the Tree of Knowledge, there
     -=-         | is always Paradise: so say the most ancient 
 in Toronto 	 | and the most modern serpents."  F. Nietzsche
 ----- my webpage is for now at: -----

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