What we are Doing:

Thanks to 3 years of funding from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) this project is looking at early rice agriculture by using science-based archaeology to learn about the interactions between humans and their environment in Asia from roughly 7,000 - 4,000 years ago. 

Through the systematic recording of modern traditional farming techniques, we will create a unique record of rice ecology which we can compare to the archaeological record.  This comparison will provide an all new insight to the ways rice was domesticated, how agricultural systems spread, and how the interconnected development between rice and humans began.  

As part of this research we will also be looking at patterns of methane gas emissions from rice farming in the archaeological record.  Greenhouse gasses, created by methane emissions, can be recorded in early rice domestication and as agriculture developed across Asia.  Using comparative scientific approaches we hope to uncover just what sort of role rice played in early climate change, and how this global staple crop has impacted the environment throughout its complex relationship with humans.