Early rice agriculture in South Asia. Identifying early cultivation systems using archaebotany.
Rice can be grown in many different agricultural systems. These include flooded fields (sometimes known as paddy), rain fed fields and dry fields in permanent or shifting systems. The nature in which staple crops, such as rice, are grown is determined by/determines social organisation, seasonality and mobility, settlement patterns, trade, technology and cultural development. This project is the first systematic investigation into rice cultivation systems in prehistoric South Asia.
Early rice in South Asia has been discovered in a variety of cultural contexts, from large sedentary settlements in the Gangetic Plains to transient, seasonal camps in the highlands of East India. Using macrobotanic and phytolith evidence the cultivation systems employed at a variety of sites across South Asia will be examined. These sites include Golbai Sasan, Orissa, a large mounded settlement that spans the Neolithic to Chalcolithic periods and Mangudi, Tamil Nadu, an aceramic low density megalithic site. In this way a correlation between site types and cultivation systems can be established, providing an initial framework for the development of rice cultivation systems in South Asia.
- MSc Human Paleoecology, Durham University, 2009
- BSc Archaeology, Durham University, 2008
Kingwell-Banham, E. and Fuller, D.Q. (In press) Shifting cultivators in South Asia: Expansion, marginalisation and specialisation over the long term. Quaternary International. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1040618211002989)
Conference Poster ”An Indian domestication of rice: the story from Orissa, East India, and the development of rice cultivation systems.” International Union for Quaternary Research, Bern, 2011; Rice and Language Across Asia, Cornell University, 2011.
Conference Poster “New analyses on the developments of early rice cultivation systems in India.” International Work Group for Paleoethnobotany, Wilhelmshaven, 2010.