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Re: American plants in VMS

On Wed, 28 Mar 2001, Jordan Lund wrote:

> To say nothing of the increasingly growing evidence for pre-Columbian
> contact with the Americas. Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland for example was built
> in the 1440's and contains clear, carved representations of corn cobs and
> aloe.
>                                             - Jordan
>                                             lundj@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Dear Jordan,

Although a Scottish friend has assured me the Rosslyn carvings are very
clear, without seeing them I'm skeptical of the identification of these
plants as corn (maize) and aloe. And even if it were truly aloe that was meant
to be depicted, the genus Aloe is African, not American, and so doesn't present
such a geographic problem. That said, there are also carvings said to resemble
corn (maize) in the 12th-13th century Hoysala temples near Mysore, Karnataka,
India. See:  Economic Botany 43(2), 1989, pp. 164-180.


Philip Marshall
MESc Candidate
Yale University
School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

tel: +1 203.436.2137
email: philip.marshall@xxxxxxxx or pmm8@xxxxxxxxxxx

"The pig was not merely a pig but a creature bound among other things to
the fence, the dandelion, and a very special definition of property."
					-William Cronon