Indigenous Australians 'farmed bananas 2,000 years ago'
Bananas originated in S.E. Asia so this is possible. Note that this finding is NOT about Aborigines. The Torres Strait Islands were and are inhabited by Melanesians. And Melanesians have always maintained gardens
So it does not "dispel the myth that Australia's native peoples were solely "hunter-gatherers"". Melanesians are not Aborigines. The two are very distinct races
The phrase "Australia's native peoples" is a deliberate attempt to cloud the identity of the farmers concerned. Melanesians originated in New Guinea but some moved South into the Torres Strait. They did not settle in Australia. In a legacy from colonial times, the Islanders are now however Australian citizens
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.
It further dispels the myth that Australia's native peoples were solely "hunter-gatherers", researchers said.
The findings from Mabuyag Island were released by a team from the Australian National University and the University of Sydney on Wednesday.
"Our research shows the ancestors of the Goegmulgal people of Mabuyag were engaged in complex and diverse cultivation and horticultural practices in the western Torres Strait at least 2,000 years ago," lead researcher Robert Williams said.
The archaeologists found gardening tools as well as retaining walls at the site
The agricultural system reflected the local regional diet at the time which included staples such as yams, taro and bananas.
"Food is an important part of Indigenous culture and identity and this research shows the age and time depth of these practices," said Mr Williams.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are widely misconceived to have been nomadic hunter-gatherers in the time before British colonisation.