Archaeologists from the University of Toronto, the Field Museum, and Shandong University announce the results of the first intensive investigation of early agriculture in Liangchengzhen, Shandong in Northern China. The results are published in the April 2005 issue of Current Anthropology. Several thousand crop and weed seeds were recovered by the team at the 4000 year-old Liangchengzhen site, a regional political center in Shandong.
Prior to the investigation, Longshan agriculture was thought to have been millet-based, with rice having little importance. However, nearly half the grains collected in the study were from rice while the remainder was from fox-tail millet. According to radiocarbon dating, the grains removed from the pit date to 2000 B.C.
Modern grain agriculture in China is a successful combination of local rice and Near Eastern wheat. Several wheat grains were found at the site, indicating that the crop had come across Asia to eastern China prior to any other evidence of western contact in that region. The Liangchengzhen research shows that the rice-wheat complex developed even before the emergence of writing.
Carrie Olivia Adams | EurekAlert!
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