The Checkered Prehistory of Rice Movement Southwards as a Domesticated Cereal—from the Yangzi to the Equator

  title={The Checkered Prehistory of Rice Movement Southwards as a Domesticated Cereal—from the Yangzi to the Equator},
  author={Peter Bellwood},
This paper discusses the origins of Oryza sativa japonica rice cultivation in the Yangzi region of China and asks how and with which migrating human populations it spread south to reach Taiwan by 3,000 BC and Southeast Asia by 2,000 BC. The perspective adopted is that the spread of rice was driven mainly by demographic expansion, associated with a spread of languages and archaeological material culture. Environmental barriers also played major roles in establishing a “pause, adapt, spread… 

Prehistoric evolution of the dualistic structure mixed rice and millet farming in China

Compared with the monistic structure of crop agriculture in Southwest Asia and Mesoamerica, agriculture in ancient China reflects the characteristics of a dualistic structure with millet in the north

The spread of domesticated rice in eastern and southeastern Asia was mainly demic

Early Austronesians Cultivated Rice and Millet Together: Tracing Taiwan’s First Neolithic Crops

This study presents the first directly dated physical evidence of crop remains from the Early Neolithic archaeological layers in Taiwan. Systematic sampling and analysis of macro-plant remains

A tale of two rice varieties: Modelling the prehistoric dispersals of japonica and proto-indica rices

We model the prehistoric dispersals of two rice varieties, japonica and proto-indica, across Asia using empirical evidence drawn from an archaeobotanical dataset of 400 sites from mainland East,

A review on the spread of prehistoric agriculture from southern China to mainland Southeast Asia

The origins and spread of agriculture was one of the milestones in human history. When and how prehistoric agriculture spread to mainland Southeast Asia is highly concerned, which contributed to the

Genome Analysis Traces Regional Dispersal of Rice in Taiwan and Southeast Asia

It is found that the temperate japonica component of these indigenous Taiwan populations diverged from northeast Asia subpopulations at about 2,600 BP, whereas gene flow from the northern Philippines had begun before ∼1,300  BP, which coincides with a period of intensified trade established across the South China Sea.

New evidence for Neolithic rice cultivation and Holocene environmental change in the Fuzhou Basin, southeast China

A stratified profile of the Zhuangbianshan (ZBS) archaeological site (Fuzhou Basin, Fujian) was studied to investigate Neolithic era anthropogenic influence and associated environmental changes.

The Evolution of Rice Farming in the Lower Mekong Basin

In the 1970s, small-scale, labour-intensive, low-yield, semi-subsistence rice farming predominated in the Lower Mekong Basin. Rural poverty and the threat of famine were rife. In the 40 years since,

Diversification and Cultural Construction of a Crop: The Case of Glutinous Rice and Waxy Cereals in the Food Cultures of Eastern Asia

The importance of sticky rice in ritual foods and alcoholic beverages in East and Southeast Asia also suggests the entanglement of crop varieties and culturally inherited food traditions and ritual symbolism.



The contribution of rice agriculture and livestock pastoralism to prehistoric methane levels

We review the origins and dispersal of rice in Asia based on a data base of 443 archaeobotanical reports. Evidence is considered in terms of quality, and especially whether there are data indicating

Consilience of genetics and archaeobotany in the entangled history of rice

An updated synthesis of the interwoven patterns of the spread of various rice varieties throughout Asia and to Madagascar can be suggested in which rice reached most of its historical range of important cultivation by the Iron Age.

Fire and flood management of coastal swamp enabled first rice paddy cultivation in east China

It is established that rice cultivation began in coastal wetlands of eastern China, an ecosystem vulnerable to coastal change but of high fertility and productivity, which was maximized for about two centuries by sustained high levels of cultural management of the environment.

The Neolithic of Southern China–Origin, Development, and Dispersal

According to direct evidence from archaeology and supporting evidence from comparative linguistics, the Neolithic cultures of the Yangtze alluvial plain played a significant role in the origins of

An Son and the Neolithic of Southern Vietnam

Between 4500 and 3500 years ago, partially intrusive Neolithic populations in the riverine basins of mainland Southeast Asia began to form mounded settlements and to develop economies based on rice

Farming and Language in Island Southeast Asia

Current portrayals of Island Southeast Asia (ISEA) over the past 5,000 years are dominated by discussion of the Austronesian “farming/language dispersal,” with associated linguistic replacement,

Patterns of East Asian pig domestication, migration, and turnover revealed by modern and ancient DNA

The overall findings provide the most complete picture yet of pig evolution and domestication in East Asia, and generate testable hypotheses regarding the development and spread of early farmers in the Far East.

Evidence for the early beginning (c. 9000 cal. BP) of rice domestication in China: a response

This paper is a response, both to Fuller et al.'s recent criticism of Chinese research on rice domestication, as lacking evidence, and to their argument for the beginning of rice domestication around

[ARCHAEOLOGY AND COMPARATIVE LINGUISTICS IN CHINA AND THE PHILIPPINES] The vocabulary of cereal cultivation and the phylogeny of East Asian languages

This study investigates some important terms of cereal agriculture in the five languagefamilies of East Asia, in an attempt to gain some insights into processes of cereal domestication, demographic

Rainfall Variability and Subsistence Systems in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific1

  • R. Dewar
  • Environmental Science
    Current Anthropology
  • 2003
Subsistence systems in insular Southeast Asia and the western Pacific are geographically patterned: from west to east, grain crops disappear while root and tree crops become more important, and south