New Guinea: A Cradle of Agriculture

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Science  11 Jul 2003:
Vol. 301, Issue 5630, pp. 180-181
DOI: 10.1126/science.1086677

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Agriculture is believed to have been developed independently in several different places. New Guinea has long been proposed as one of these sites, but evidence has been equivocal. In her Perspective, Neumann discusses recent evidence that several important crops, including the banana, were first domesticated in New Guinea. She highlights the report by Denham et al., who show that agriculture developed gradually over several thousand years and that the banana has been cultivated in New Guinea since at least 7000 years ago.