By Alice Klein
Artefacts found in New Guinea suggest early cultural developmentBen Shaw, University of New South WalesPeople on the island of New Guinea began farming, practising arts and crafts and making complex tools around the same time as their European and Asian counterparts.
Agriculture emerged in different parts of the world around 10,000 years ago, when the climate became favourable for planting crops. In Europe and Asia, this spurred the development of complex cultures as more and more people started living together around farms.
Archaeological records show that people in New Guinea began farming around the same time as their Eurasian counterparts, planting yams, bananas and other local crops. But until now, there hasn’t been convincing evidence that this kickstarted an equivalent cultural movement.