Mounds were constructed to plant crops that can’t tolerate very wet soil,
such as bananas, because remember Kuk is a swampy wetland, and bananas wouldn’t ordinarily grow well there.
And in the layers from Kuk’s third phase, they found evidence of an extensive network of ditches and drainage channels,
indicating a further refinement of wetland cultivation.
Because they had more advanced techniques than were available to earlier researchers,
the archaeologists also were able to identify actual plant remains---micro-fossils in the soil from banana plants,
and...and also grains of starch from taro, on the edges of stone tools that date from about 10,000 years ago.
Finding the taro remains was very important, because it meant that it must have been planted there, brought from the lowlands,
because taro doesn’t grow naturally in the highlands.