8,000-year-old paddy field found in China

Beijing: Chinese archaeologists said they have found a paddy field more than 8,000 years old. This could be the earliest wet rice farming site in the world.

The field, covering less than 100 square metres, was discovered at the neolithic ruins of Hanjing in Jiangsu province in November 2015, Xinhua quoted a spokesman with the archaeology institute of Nanjing Museum as saying.

At a seminar held in late April to discuss findings at the Hanjing ruins, 70 scholars from universities, archaeology institutes and museums in China concluded that the wet rice field was the oldest ever discovered.

Researchers with the institute found that the field was divided into parts with different shapes, each covering less than 10 square metres.

They also found carbonised rice that was confirmed to have grown more than 8,000 years ago based on carbon dating as well as evidence that the soil was repeatedly planted with rice.

Lin Liugen, head of the institute, said Chinese people started to cultivate rice about 10,000 years ago and carbonised rice of the age has been found in the past but paddy remnants were quite rare.

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