Economic Botany

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 164–180 | Cite as

Maize ears sculptured in 12th and 13th centuryA.D. India as indicators of pre-columbian diffusion

  • Carl L. Johannessen
  • Anne Z. Parker


Evidence for the presence of maize (Lea. mays, Poaceae) in India prior to traditional European contact is found in stone sculptures of maize ears in the 12th and 13th century (and earlier) Hoysala temples in southern India near Mysore. These “ears” present the morphology of maize in such intricate and specifically variable representations that it would have been impossible for sculptors to have imagined the variability consistently and realistically without large numbers of actual maize ears as models. No other natural model could supply this variability. We should search for other crops and cultural artifacts that would have diffused with maize across the oceans before 1492 A.D.


Maize Economic Botany Sweet Corn Maize Pollen Modern Maize 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carl L. Johannessen
  • Anne Z. Parker
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of OregonEugene

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