New Guinea: a cradle of agriculture



  • Authors : Neumann, K.

  • Document type : Journal article

  • Year of publication : 2003

  • Journal title : Science

  • Volume (number) : 301 (5630)


  • Pages : 180-181

  • Peer-reviewed : Yes

  • ISSN : 0036-8075; 1095-9203

  • Language(s) : English

  • Abstract : Since the 1930s, botanists and archaeologists have suggested that plant domestication developed independently in a few core areas and spread from there across the world. With its diversity of root and tuber plants, spices, fruit trees, and other crops, Southeast Asia seemed to be a perfect candidate for such a core area. Some authors included New Guinea in their scenarios, but generally the island was seen as a passive recipient of domesticated plants and animals from the Southeast Asian heartland. Today, the picture has changed completely. From a "Neolithic backwater," New Guinea has turned into one of the few pristine centers of early plant domestication. There is increasing evidence that two of the world's most valuable crops, sugar cane and banana, originated there. Scientists provide convincing evidence that the banana was cultivated in New Guinea as long as 7000 years ago.

  • Keywords : DOMESTICATION; PAPUA NEW GUINEA; PHYTOLITHS

  • Open access : No

  • Document on publisher's site : close View article on publisher's site

  • Musalit document ID : IN040226


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