Possible Pre-Columbian Contacts between the Old and New Worlds

  • Herbert G. Baker
Part of the Fundamentals of Botany Series book series (FOBS)


The famous Swiss botanist Alphonse de Candolle concluded that in the the history of crop plants there is no evidence of communications between the peoples of the Old and New Worlds before the discovery, or rediscovery, of America by Columbus. It is possible to hold this opinion almost unaltered today, although the subject has provoked heated discussions between some who believe that there were prehistoric contacts between the Americas and Africa, Asia, and Europe, and those who would deny that such links could have occurred. We know that Norsemen reached eastern North America about 1000 A.D., possibly even preceded by Irish monks, and it is possible that there were rare contacts in the south; but as far as the movement of economic plants is concerned, these voyages do not seem to have been of major importance.


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Copyright information

© Wadsworth Publishing Company, Inc., Belmont, California 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • Herbert G. Baker
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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