Indologist confirms maize in ancient sculptures

bakula at bakula at
Sun Oct 18 16:46:32 EST 1998

In article <hmccullo.44.362A3957 at>,
  hmccullo at (Hu McCulloch) wrote:
> Sid Harth <gautamasidharth at> writes, concerning
> my review of Shakti M. Gupta's 1996 book, _Plants in Indian Temple
> Art_, which confirms the presence of  maize and 5 other
> New World plants in Pre-Columbian Indian temple
> sculptures,
> [Payak and Sachan had written, as quoted by Oscar Schlaf]
> >> > >We hold that these temple sculptures
> >> > >do not represent maize or its ear but an imaginary fruit bearing pearls
> >> > >in Sanskrit as "Muktaphala"
> [I had replied]
> >> > Muktaphala literally means "pearl-fruit".  My hunch here is that this was
> >> > an an ancient word for maize.
> [Sid]:
> >    Patently false. "muktaaphaLa," is another name for custard apple,
> Interesting. Is there a standard source for this?
> Custard apple is one of the other New World crops Gupta
> finds in Pre-Columbian temple sculptures, so if this is what
> is depicted, it would equally indicate some transoceanic
> contacts.  Nevertheless, the sculptures Gupta and Johannessen
> show look much more like maize than custard apple.
> (see eg the one I link on my page,
>   <> )
> -- Hu McCulloch
>    mcculloch.2 at

My dear Hu,

I am not taking any side on this argument. I came late on the scene. Knowing
Indian penchant for stretching the truth, knowing their scant regard for
scientific endeavor, knowing their desire to place India on the map before any
other country and other cultures, I would say that the claim of maize in these
sculptures is as bogus as the claim  of DNA molecule finders.

I have not senn and nobody in their sane mind can claim that they have seen a
bell shaped maze, corn on the cob, a tear shaped corn on the cob. If it is
not a maze, neither it can be proved as a custard apple, it is a stylezed
sceptre, much decorated with rows of pearls. since these are the sculptures
in south India, the land of natural pearl treasures, my guess is that they
are just that. Pearl encrusted sceptures, sympols of power. The indian
counterpart of maze is "bajraa," millets which has a distinct shape, not as
pronounced as the sculptural rendition but surely matching in the
characteristics. Bajra, millet was not known in the north. It is a natural
product of the south.


-----------== Posted via Deja News, The Discussion Network ==----------       Search, Read, Discuss, or Start Your Own    

More information about the Bioforum mailing list