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Comparative theories of the origins of agriculture in Papua New Guinea

Bensley, Dianne (1995). Comparative theories of the origins of agriculture in Papua New Guinea. Honours Thesis, Northern Territory University.

Document type: Thesis
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Author Bensley, Dianne
Title Comparative theories of the origins of agriculture in Papua New Guinea
Institution Northern Territory University
Publication Date 1995
Thesis Type Honours
Subjects 0701 - Agriculture, Land and Farm Management
Abstract This thesis presents an overview of two major theories concerning the origins of agriculture in Papua New Guinea. The theories are a) that Papua New Guinea developed agriculture during the Mid-Holocene (6000-4000 BP), as a result of a transfer of cultigens and agricultural techniques out of Southeast Asia, and b) that agriculture in Papua New Guinea developed as an internal process, independent of outside influences (particularly Southeast Asian), some time in the terminal Pleistocene/ Holocene period (10,000-9000 BP). The former theory constitutes an early view of the origins of agriculture in Papua New Guinea, and the latter theory represents a more recent view. After testing the two theories against archaeological evidence, it was found that the more recent theory appears to be correct; Papua New Guinea appears to have developed agriculture independently of Southeast Asia, thereby marking it as one of the earliest centres of agriculture in the Southern hemisphere, and possibly the world.


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