Indologist confirms maize in ancient sculptures
mcculloch.2 at osu.edu
Mon Oct 19 20:44:46 EST 1998
bakula at my-dejanews.com (aka Sid Harth) writes:
>In article <hmccullo.44.362A3957 at pop.service.ohio-state.edu>,
> hmccullo at pop.service.ohio-state.edu (Hu McCulloch) wrote:
>> Sid Harth <gautamasidharth at malexcite.com> 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
>> [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.
>> > 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,
>> <http://economics.sbs.ohio-state.edu/jhm/arch/maize.html> )
>> -- Hu McCulloch
>> mcculloch.2 at osu.edu
>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.
Whatever the sculptures are, I am very interested in your original claim
that "Muktaphala" is a word for custard apple. It doesn't appear in the
now-defunct on-line Sanskrit dictionary, but an Indian student assures me
that Mukta means pearl (not to be confused with Mukt, Mukti, liberation).
Phala does mean fruit. Is there a standard reference for muktaphala meaning
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