Who knew?--Chinese have been growing rice a long time

Independent:

The Chinese are the most famous rice-eaters in the world and it has been China's national dish for thousands of years, but quite how long was never apparent until now. Research shows that Stone Age man in eastern China planted rice in paddyfields nearly eight millennia ago.

The discovery sheds valuable new light on how human beings made the change from hunter- gatherers to farmers. It also shows how human beings have wrestled with climate change throughout the centuries.

Dr Zong Yongqiang from Durham University, working with Chinese researchers at the Neolithic site of Kuahuqiao near the eastern city of Hangzhou, has discovered evidence of man growing rice in the coastal marshland some 7,700 years ago.

The revelations about rice cultivation come from Kuahuqiao in the eastern coastal province of Zhejiang. The famous Neolithic site near Hangzhou has yielded some of the most important discoveries about Stone Age life in China.

Digs unearthed the remains of a village of wooden dwellings which were perched on stilts over marshy wetlands as well as discoveries which included an 8,000-year-old drill used to make fire, a dugout pine canoe and three paddles.

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There is more about rising sea levels in the past too. When they do an excavation around the thousands of homes that have been built near Katy, Texas west of Houston they will find examples of rice fields too. Who knows, perhaps in 8,000 years someone will be excited to find it.

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