Olde England a `banana republic' banana is discovered
Wednesday 16 June 1999
Hitherto, according to Anne Wilson's Food and Drink in Britain (1991), the first record of an English banana was believed to be of a bunch displayed to the citizens of London in 1633 after being brought back from Bermuda. They were hung up to ripen and be admired in the shop of a herbalist, Thomas Johnson in the City of London.
But now excavations by the Museum of London at a building site on the south bank of the Thames at Southwark have pushed back banana-tasting by about 175 years. A skin found preserved in the waterlogged remains of a 15th-century fish farm has been identified as banana by the museum's archaeobotanists, experts in relic plant material. It has been dated to about 1460.
"We did think bananas growing in West Africa may have been known to Europeans as early as the 15th century and imported as curiosities, but we had no evidence before now," said John Giorgi, from the museum.
Archaeologists say that other objects unearthed at the Tudor rubbish dump - including shoes, toys and tools - have given an unprecedented insight into how Londoners lived.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We have an excellent role for a...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An IT Support Analyst is required to join the ...