Archaeological evidence has been uncovered in the Torres Strait showing Indigenous people in the area had cultivated bananas in the region more than 2000 years ago.
Starch granules, microfossils of banana plants have been unearthed at Wagadagam on the island of Mabuyag in western areas of the Torres Strait.
Archaeologists at the Australian National University found evidence of banana cultivation at the site, along with a series of retaining walls linked to many gardening activities.
Lead researcher of the project and Kambri-Ngunnawal man Robert Williams said the new findings have helped to disprove the theory that Indigenous people were hunters and gatherers.
"The significance is we're helping to change the narrative of what people were doing was more complex than what mainstream historical records had shown," Mr Williams said.
"People wouldn't have known that people in the Torres Strait had quite a complex and intensive agricultural system."
Mr Williams said he helped to discover evidence of banana cultivation at the site following excavations that had revealed terraces dating back 1300 years.
"Once that had concluded, we found sediments at the bottom that dated to more than 2000 years ago," he said.
"We then started work looking for evidence of cultivation, and I don't know how many microscope slides we counted and we looked through thousands of microfossils before we found banana starch."
The research in the area found the Goegmulgal people, the traditional custodians of the land on Mabuyag, engaged in a range of cultivation and horticultural practices.
Mr Williams said the cultivation of food also led to trade with many other surrounding areas near the Torres Strait.
"They would have been trading with neighbouring islands and they would be trading a suite of things," he said.
"We assume because these terraces and archaeological relics are quite extensive, we assume this type of social interaction was in place."
Stone flake tools which had plant residues along the cutting surfaces were also found at the site.
As an Indigenous man, Mr Williams said the findings and the archaeological significance of the site was crucial.
"Historically, culture has been appropriated by non-Indigenous archaeologists and anthropologists," he said
"It was really important for me to make a connection with the people in this community and ensure they understood the research really belongs to them."
The findings have been published in the journal Nature, Ecology and and Evolution.