Archaeological Evidence of Multiple Domestication of Rice

Author(s): Yunfei Zheng; Haibin Gu

Year: 2018


The first domestication of rice in the Yangtze river valley in China is recently informed by genetic, archaeological, palaeoenvironmental, and archaeobotanical data. Archaeological sites where rice remains between 10000 and 4000 BP have been unearthed are concentrated in the middle and the lower Yangtze valley, a distance of over 1000 km apart. This study focuses on the morphological and histological features of spikelet bases of rice between 8300 and 4800 BP found in the Liyang Plain of the middle Yangtze valley, comparing them with those found in the archaeological sites of the lower Yangtze valley in Zhejiang province. The results showed that there was a clear and complete domestication process in the Liyang Plain, with the domesticated ratios higher than those of the lower Yangtze Valley in the same times. The results indicated that there were separate domestication processes for rice in the middle and lower Yangtze River, even though rice inhabiting the two areas were the same species of the Oryza genus. The study suggests that there might have been multiple domestication processes of the same crop in similar ecological niches in the early Holocene.

Cite this Record

Archaeological Evidence of Multiple Domestication of Rice. Yunfei Zheng, Haibin Gu. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 445146)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: 70.4; min lat: 17.141 ; max long: 146.514; max lat: 53.956 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 21131