NANJING – Chinese archaeologists said they have found a paddy dating back more than 8,000 years, which could be the earliest wet rice farming site in the world.
The field, covering less than 100 square meters, was discovered at the neolithic ruins of Hanjing in Sihong county in East China’s Jiangsu province in November 2015, according to a spokesman with the archeology institute of Nanjing Museum.
At a seminar held in late April to discuss findings at the Hanjing ruins, more than 70 scholars from universities, archeology institutes and museums across the country concluded that the wet rice field was the oldest ever discovered.
Researchers with the institute found that the paddy was divided into parts with different shapes, each covering less than 10 square meters.
They also found carbonized 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 carbonized rice of the age has been found, but paddy remnants are quite rare.
Lin said the findings would be significant for research on the origin of rice farming in China.