The article looks great, but wouldn't have been better put in the articles of FA.com? It's a bit hard to read here.

Anyway, tremendous work. Well done!

My first question would be about the pancration. If this is possibly a basis for many Asian arts, then why are forms of foot fighting rather rare in Europe?

I think that you bring up a good point. If the asian martial arts do come from greece, then wouldn't eastern and western martial arts be nearly identical? I guess that what started out in greece went east and merged with the culture and indigenous fighting styles to form entirely new systems. Whatever remained in the west evolved and fused with both hellenistic/gothic styles and cultural influences being brought in from various other cultures such as the middle eastern styles/cultures and also formed entirely new systems. Perhaps this could be a reason that eastern and western styles are so different. However, history is not exact when it comes to these matters. Just as a case is being made for asian martial arts having an origin in pankration/pancratium, there is also a case being made that what the greeks and romans used actually came from africa/egypt. There are hieroglyphics that depict boxing, wrestling, and even fencing styles that predate their european practice by many centuries. They are eerily similar to what is considered european/western martial arts, and the west, like every other culture, absorbed many aspects of foreign cultures. The truth is that it is all shrouded in mystery and perhaps even lost in the sands of time. One thing that we can be certain of is that all of these styles and cultures, both east and west, are not as unique and mutually exclusive as they are made out to be. Everybody borrowed something from everybody, so nobody can really lay claim to having a monopoly on the martial arts, both old and new.
Train hard and the answers will reveal themselves in a way that you can truly understand.