WORLD’S OLDEST Rice Paddies Dating Back 6,300 Years Discovered in China

WORLD’S OLDEST Rice Paddies Dating Back 6,300 Years Discovered in China

WORLD’S OLDEST Rice Paddies Dating Back 6,300 Years Discovered in China
Photo: Daily Mail UK

Experts recently uncovered the world’s oldest rice paddies in China, farmed over 6,000 years ago.

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In a Daily Mail report, the fields were in the city of Yuyao, east China’s Zhejiang Province. It covered about 222 acres, with only one acre excavated so far.

Further, archeologists said the paddies had different forms across three prehistoric periods that spanned abot 2,000 years.

The article also explained that rice paddies, or wet paddies, survive in stable conditions that are neither too hot nor too cold. Early humans dined in a variety of rice. Currently, people consume two domesticated varieties – japonica and indica.

Zhejiang Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology on December 16 announced the discovery of the world’s oldest rice paddies. They were unearthed in the Shi’ao Ruins, about 7.5 kilometers away from the renowned Hemudu Site.

Photo: Daily Mail UK

The site also revealed artifacts of a Neolithic culture that once flourished in China from 5500 BC to 3300 BC.

By the end of the Hemudu culture, between 3700 BC to 3300 BC, fields were made with robust ridges used as roads. Meanwhile, newer paddies were in a checkerboard pattern that included roads and irrigation systems.

The team also discovered rice glumes, cobs, and weed seeds in the paddy soil that dates back to the Liangzhu Culture, between 2900 BC to 2500 BC.

They will continue to clear away other parts of the field and will look for settlements that match the ancient rice fields of Shi’ao Site.