Sri Lankan’s Were Doing Banana’s 6000 years ago


Sophisticated palaeo-ecological studies, conducted on cave deposits, found in the Fahien cave archaeological site, have produced evidence that ancient Lankans cultivated bananas some 6,000 years ago and contributed to a new scientific hypothesis that domesticated varieties had been introduced to the African and Indian continents via a sea route in which Sri Lanka served as a link.


Dr T. R. Premathilake of the Post Graduate Institute of Archaeological Research, delivering the Second of a PGIAR Public Lecture series, at the PGIAR auditorium yesterday, said that those findings would place Sri Lanka as the second oldest country using domesticated bananas after Papua New Guinea. “Archaeological evidence from the Kuk Swamp of the highlands of New Guinea indicated that bananas were deliberately planted by at least as long ago as 6950-6440 calibrated before present (cal BP). The latest research done using phytolith analysis on the cave sediments found from the Fahien cave, indicated that there were domesticated bananas used in Sri Lanka 6,150-5,994 cal BP,” he said.



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