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Science. 2009 Mar 20;323(5921):1607-10. doi: 10.1126/science.1166605.

The domestication process and domestication rate in rice: spikelet bases from the Lower Yangtze.

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Institute of Archaeology, University College London, London WC1H 0PY, UK.


The process of rice domestication occurred in the Lower Yangtze region of Zhejiang, China, between 6900 and 6600 years ago. Archaeobotanical evidence from the site of Tianluoshan shows that the proportion of nonshattering domesticated rice (Oryza sativa) spikelet bases increased over this period from 27% to 39%. Over the same period, rice remains increased from 8% to 24% of all plant remains, which suggests an increased consumption relative to wild gathered foods. In addition, an assemblage of annual grasses, sedges, and other herbaceous plants indicates the presence of arable weeds, typical of cultivated rice, that also increased over this period.

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