The oldest rice fields on the planet were found in China

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The oldest rice fields on the planet were found in China

The oldest rice fields on the planet were found in China

Chinese archaeologists have unearthed the world's oldest rice paddies in the eastern province of Zhejiang. According to scientists, they are about six thousand years old, reports The Daily Mail.

The fields are located near the modern city of Yuao. They covered an area of 222 acres (almost 90 hectares). To date, only one acre has been excavated.

Rice is found in many cultures around the world, but it was of particular importance to Chinese civilization. Rice fields require special conditions – not too hot and not too cold. During the growing season (that is, during the growth of plants), they are flooded with water. Growing and harvesting in the absence of modern technology was a very laborious and exhausting process.

Scientists have been studying the history of rice consumption in China for a long time. Previously, they discovered rice fields, whose age was three thousand years. For a long time they were considered the oldest, but the new find turned out to be twice as old.

Rice fields were found outside the Hemudu site, where artifacts from the Neolithic culture (5500-3300 BC) have been preserved. Research has shown that field formation has varied over three prehistoric periods that lasted about 2,000 years.

The oldest layer was dated to around 4300 BC. Then, along the edges of the fields, soil mounds were made.

At the end of the Hemudu culture, between 3700 and 3300 BC, earthen “ridges” appeared in the fields, which were used as “bridges” for walking. The most modern fields were staggered and included roads and irrigation systems. They date back to the Liangzhu culture (2900 to 2500 BC).

Archaeologists have also found rice flakes, cobs and weed seeds in the soil. Around the fields, on an area of one square kilometer, traces of five human settlements have been preserved.

Earlier it was reported that the oldest balls in Eurasia were found in China. They were dated back to 12-10 centuries BC.

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