People living in the contemporary world have no doubt of the fundamental importance of agriculture in providing humankind with a secure source of food. For our distant ancestors, however, obtaining sufficient food for a day, a few days at most, required a near constant application of the knowledge and skills for hunting and gathering. In their eyes agriculture may have seemed like a great gamble. If things went well, they could harvest a crop after caring for the plants over a period of several months. It seems only natural, therefore, that it took so many years to close the gap between the ways ancient and modern people think about rice.
In fact, in East Asia, it is thought that it took approximately 5,000 years from the time human beings first encountered wild rice to forge an agriculture-based society centered on rice cultivation. Understanding the specific stages of the process by which rice, one of the simplest edible plants, became a staple food, remains to be traced.
Thus, the focus of our research is on the following two subjects in order to elucidate the developmental process of rice cultivation – from the use of wild rice in the Neolithic Age to the establishment of rice-paddy cultivation as the basis for the agriculture-based society.
For these purposes, we conduct our research mainly in China, at the Huxi site (Zhejiang Province: shang shan culture), the Tianlushan site (Hemudu culture), the Linagzhu sites group (Lianzhu culture), and the Guangfulin site (Shanghai City: Guanfulin culture).
By combining the research analyses and results described above, we expect to further elucidate the relationship between rice cultivation and the society of the Neolithic Age.
[Regional agriculture ,Technical history of agriculture]
Micro landform analysis,Analysis of sedimentary facies
Analysis of starch grains