Indigenous Australians 'farmed bananas 2,000 years ago' - BBC News


Published by BBC.COM

Summary generated on August 12, 2020


    ANU Archaeologists say they have found ancient banana farms once managed by Australia's Indigenous peoples.

    The sites, which date back 2,145 years, were found on a tiny island north of the mainland in the Torres Strait.

    Researchers found banana microfossils, stone tools, charcoal and a series of retaining walls at the site.

    The findings from Mabuyag Island were released by a team from the Australian National University and the University of Sydney on Wednesday.

    ANU. The agricultural system reflected the local regional diet at the time which included staples such as yams, taro and bananas.

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are widely misconceived to have been nomadic hunter-gatherers in the time before British colonisation.

    Historians have argued that the British denied evidence of Indigenous agriculture systems so they could claim the land was unsettled and unoccupied.

    Ancient Indigenous land care practices are still not widely known in Australia.

    Research in past decade has shed some light on pre-colonial agriculture, engineering and construction practices of the first Australians.