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ABSTRACT: Multidisciplinary investigations at Kuk Swamp in the Highlands of Papua New
Guinea show that agriculture arose independently in New Guinea by at least
6950 to 6440 calibrated years before the present (cal yr B.P.). Plant exploitation
and some cultivation occurred on the wetland margin at 10,220 to 9910 cal yr
B.P. (phase 1), mounding cultivation began by 6950 to 6440 cal yr B.P. (phase
2), and ditched cultivation began by 4350 to 3980 cal yr B.P. (phase 3).
Clearance of lower montane rainforests began in the early Holocene, with
modification to grassland at 6950 to 6440 cal yr B.P. Taro (Colocasia esculenta)
was utilized in the early Holocene, and bananas (Musa spp.) were intensively
cultivated by at least 6950 to 6440 cal yr B.P.
Science. 01/2003; 389:189-193.