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Maize and Turkeys in Europe Before Columbus

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Old Saturday, February 25th, 2017   #1
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Arrow Maize and Turkeys in Europe Before Columbus

Today I was reading Ancient Egyptian Maize by Gunnar Thompson. Some of it is wierd: stylised images that could be maize (or turkeys) but might not. In one instance Thompson identifies as maize cobs, what is clearly a plant sprouting from the ground. But I think the best evidence he presents is a 13th century portrayal of a turkey from Schleswig that any ornithologist would find unmistakable. However it might not be original. As for maize it seems to appear in the herbaria of Europeans before Columbus, but not ancient Egypt.

Maybe the real question is "Why Columbus" so long after Leif Ericsson's saga was proven true...

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Old Saturday, February 25th, 2017   #2
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Thompson is part Amerindian and people like Thor Heyerdahl married people who are not White. In Thompson 's case his motivation was annoyance that the Columbus-was-first people completely ignores the natives who must've explored the continent first.

Whilst I am skeptical of many of these people's claims, I notice the career skeptics frequently engage in defamation of their characters by accusations of racism. The problem is I think they promote claims about European sailors as well as Arab and Chinese. Not many people are aware nowadays of the diffusionism war after WW2: but its important to ask why they were subject to vicious personal attacks not by the mainstream of archaeology but by one or two "activist scientists" and career skeptics.

Though there are skeptic blogs analysing specific claims, I've never seen the claims and motivations of professional debunkers put under the spotlight. Something about the hyperdiffusionists really irked some people and I doubt it was Egyptian maize or German turkeys. Nowadays on the Internet you can read papers from that era for yourself. And after reading Mundkur I realised immediately he was misrepresented not only by hyperdiffusionists but by the people citing him as on their side.

It was a total political attack.
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Old Saturday, February 25th, 2017   #3
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Some writings about New World crops in Asia.

http://www.econ.ohio-state.edu/jhm/arch/maize.html

People do not seem to realise how mysterious the spread of American cultigens even in Europe is. The Turks(!) not the Iberians were responsible for bringing American crops into C Europe. Maybe this is also why we call turkeys after that country. Instrumentality the Turks had Mexican chillies not South American chillies as found in the Caribbean - and E Asia. This suggests the Portuguese did not introduce chillies to the Turks. Botanists contemporary with Columbus associated maize with Asia and assumed it's origin to be Oriental. Kemal Reis only learned of the New World from one of Columbus' crew in 1501.

Maize was in China by 1505, and W Africa by 1502. This is rapid adoption of New World crops unless there was independent (earlier than Columbus) exploration. The Portuguese reached India in the same decade and China in the next, for a comparison. And the Spanish only reached Asia from the Americas shortly before 1520.

In India maize is depicted in Hoysala temple art from Karnataka, but the images might have been altered later. (Like the Schleswig Cathedral turkey). Though it's unlikely all of them are and there is reason to assume they were not. If they are original they date at least to the 12-13th century. However chili there is depicted only from the 17th century.

It's difficult to explain all this.

https://www.academia.edu/3088989/Mai...efore_Columbus

Parasitology also demonstrates contacts
http://www.sino-platonic.org/complet...an_voyages.pdf

The difficulty explaining away Indian maize and the difficulties with the supposed timelines and routes of transmission to the Old World, make me favourable to pre-Columbian introductions. Yet I can't think of a timeline that makes sense. Austronesians in the east establishing a route between the New World and India? Chillies were present on Tahiti less than a year after European discovery, and there were New World plants early in the Marquesas.
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Old Sunday, February 26th, 2017   #4
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The Schleswig Cathedral turkeys debunked, plus the Bayeaux Tapestry depicts two peacocks with turkey or capercaillie style tails. Then on the other side of the tapestry Shuker omits there is a New World quail!

http://karlshuker.blogspot.pe/2016/1...-play.html?m=1

The quails head plume is as unmistakable as the racket crest plumes of the peacock.

Shuker suggests the Bayeaux peacock is possibly a capercaillie, an identity suggested for the hook billed Yezidi peacock ie. the bird imagery was originally tetraonine not pavonine. Yes in the past someone suggested the sanjaqs are turkeys.

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Old Sunday, February 26th, 2017   #5
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Oriental chickens and their medicinal use in Mesoamerica. Such chickens were known in ancient Greece where they had some ritual importance, but unknown by the time of Aldrovandi.

Guatemalan natives regard Asian chickens separately from European chickens and only the former have cultural importance.



Some more about pre-Columbian chickens. Conquistadors and other early Spanish to arrive, did recognise chickens as present whilst turkeys were thought of as peafowl in early New World narratives of exploration.

http://www2.hawaii.edu/~rrath/hist46...in%20Chile.pdf

The fact neither Mesoamericans nor Chinese ate their BB/BM chickens, and the absence of flocking ability in Asian and NW chickens, would explain why they are rare/absent at archaeological sites.
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Old Monday, February 27th, 2017   #6
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Originally Posted by Catterick View Post
Oriental chickens and their medicinal use in Mesoamerica[/url]. Such chickens were known in ancient Greece where they had some ritual importance, but unknown by the time of Aldrovandi.

Guatemalan natives regard Asian chickens separately from European chickens and only the former have cultural importance. [...]

The fact neither Mesoamericans nor Chinese ate their BB/BM chickens, and the absence of flocking ability in Asian and NW chickens, would explain why they are rare/absent at archaeological sites.
I'm not sure what is your point with this thread, but one explanation for the chicken thing is that whole breeds are tradiationally used for magic rituals.

To this day in Indonesia, there is a breed of Black Chicken called Ayam Cemani that is entierely black, including the beak, the legs - and even its blood is much darker! (the black color in natural elements tends to absorb and retain negative energies). Some of these fowls might have been imported long time ago for magical and medicinal purposes.

It is not eaten, but exclusively used for black magic and counter- black magic rituals. The cost for one of those chicken can be 100-500 euros each.

Some people are now breeding them in Belgium.

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Old Monday, February 27th, 2017   #7
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Yes the black chickens are also naturalized to Mesoamerica. The question is how they got there together with beliefs about their medicinal value.
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Old Friday, March 10th, 2017   #8
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A lot of Thompson's claims are odd: turkey (birds) and turkey corn (maize) are known to have been introduced via Turkey. (The Anatolian problem.) I guess that isnt old and mysterious enough for him, but its a fact that the Turks were extremely fast adapters to Spanish/NW crops around the time of Columbus. Turkey corn was not named because it was fed to turkeys.

Were trade with the NW so frequent there would have been no disease holocaust in the Americas nor a big thing about Columbus and his near-contemporaries.

The Roslyn maize carvings are not convincing. The Naqada I maize images do look like maize plants but are too stylised. None of the other Egyptian images are admissable evidence. Most images are leaf vegetables with stems. Nor are the Mesopotamian and Cretan examples. A 5th century image from Ravenna is a bit more convincing, though nowhere as convincing as the Hoysala images. The Roman evidence seems poor quality overall.

The Olmec stone heads resemble the living Tzotzils. (However Mesoamerican art depicts African apes.) Bearded figures are obviously not Amerind however.

Just a quick review of the video, there is more in his book.
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