Early Rice Symposium
Early rice cultivation systems and their impact on social evolution and the environment
15-17 September 2015. UCL, Institute of Archaeology, Room 612
Some key questions to be addressed include:
(1) How reliably can we differentiate wet (irrigated or flooded) versus dry (rainfed) cultivation systems from archaeobotanical remains, including macro-remains or phytoliths?
(2) What was the ecology of the earliest rice cultivated in different regions and can we now infer when key transitions from dry to wet or wet to dry took place?
(3) What was the importance of rice agriculture compared to other subsistence systems (other cereals, vegeculture, fauna) and how did the varied emphasis of rice impact on human population growth or social complexity in different regions. For example, how important was rice to millet farmers of northern China or in the Indus region?
(4) Did the rise of urbanism in most regions require wet rice farming?
(5) Does our updated rice archaeological database change/improve our models for how rice spread? When and where did hybridizations between lineages occur and what was the extent of wet rice cultivation systems in the past?
(6) How should we integrate archaeology and rice archaeobotany with current geneticevidence from rice?
(7) How should we integrate archaeology and rice archaeobotany with current palaeoenvironmental datasets to better assess the "early anthropocene"?
RECENT READINGS (relevant to symposium discussions)