So as you asked, @LittleGwhizz , here’s the story in 6 tweets:
They spread cuttings from SE Asia in prehistory, presumably in dug out canoes, all the way to India. #Badass
‘Banana’ is from ‘Banan’, apparently the Arabic for ‘finger tips’.
But a lot of the history of bananas is still being uncertain and shrouded in mystery. Why?
Add that to the fact that they grow in hot, wet, jungley climates and much of their evidence has long rotted away.
So how do we know anything at all?
These are tiny silica particles that are laid down in plant cells: Microscopic fossils that can last millions of years.
Some have been found in Africa dating to millennia before the Arabic traders, leading to heated geeky debate.
Let’s see what unfolds!