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K. Kris Hirst

History of Bananas

By June 12, 2013

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The earliest evidence for somebody cultivating banana trees identified so far is in Kuk Swamp, a site in the highlands of Papua New Guinea, where bananas have been growing for over 15,000 years, and people have been deliberately planting them for at least 7,000 years.

Bananas in a Market, Mysore, India
Bananas in a Mysore Market
Photo Credit: Jennifer Turek

Bananas are really interesting: in part, because the evidence for their domestication is so old, but for geeks like me, in part because the main evidence is from tiny silicon plant remains called opal phytoliths that appear in the shapes of volcanoes. Really, how cool is that?


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