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Brief history of horticulture
It is impossible to brief Madagascan history in a few lines. It is a history of interactions between generations, the human and the natural world, which also included the introduction of new crops and new social practices, while maintaining a current agricultural activities and a current social organization.
The history of horticulture in Madagascar is the history of the Madagascan people through all of their stages, of their migrations and of their encounters with other peoples and with nature. Horticultural activities are the expression of a set of identities. The exploration of the relationship between social, agricultural and the natural, and the articulation of that relationship with the spatial landscape, is an aspect of social history. Horticulture also reflected the social change, the identity change and the épuration, the political shift of the different ethnic groups of Madagascar.
The first evidences of African plants in Madagascar
Since the early 20th century, the discoveries of several botanical gardens and of several fossilized plants have revealed the presence of agricultural practices in the southern part of Madagascar. In the later 1950s, the botanical garden of Kew (UK) discovered the remains of wheat pollen and a species of plantain in the prehistorical sediments of the island of Nosy Boraha. In the 1960s, the botanical garden of Toulouse (France) identified the remains of rice, beans and millet, along with the remains of charred plantain in the Pre-Bantu period. In the 1970s, the botanical garden of the University of Ghent (Belgium) discovered remains of sorghum, millet and wheat, along with the remains of the fruit of a species of citrus. In the 1980s, the botanical garden of Potsdam (Germany) found the remains of coriander and zea mays in the Pre-Bantu period and the remains of melon and lettuce in the Early Transition period. In the 1990s, the botanical garden of Tonggara (Tonga) found the remains of maize, lotus, rice and wheat in the Pre-Bantu period. These ancient plants came from the mainland of Africa, the southeast of Madagascar, the Comoros Islands, the Mascarenes Islands, and from the neighboring islands of the Indian ocean.
The earliest inhabitants of Madagascar
A prehistorical people called the Malagasy were the first inhabitants of Madagascar. The archaeological data show that these