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Low intensity cultivation and domestication: pathways to millet domestication in India and China

Author(s): Dorian Fuller ; Chris Stevens

Year: 2017

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The steppe zone of northern China and the savanna zones of India both produced indigenous domestication of numerous small-grained Panicoid cereals, i.e. millets. This presentation will explore parallels in the processes of domestication of these crops, including comparisons of ecological characteristics of wild progenitors, the seasonal mobility of early cultivators, and shared domestication traits and the current state of the their documentation in archaeobotanical evidence. Millets for the most part lent themselves to low intensity forms of cultivation, indicated for example by high levels of grain immaturity, and short seasonal labour investments that fit well with seasonal population dispersal and cache storage. Nevertheless, parallels in the evolution of non-dormant, larger grains, and more communal systems of storage and processing can all be inferred from the limited available archaeobotanical evidence. This contrasts with the more intensively managed, and often household focused processing of early large-grained cereals such as rice and wheat.

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Low intensity cultivation and domestication: pathways to millet domestication in India and China. Dorian Fuller, Chris Stevens. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429155)


Spatial Coverage

min long: 59.678; min lat: 4.916 ; max long: 92.197; max lat: 37.3 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15796

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America