Late Pleistocene/Holocene Environments in the middle Yangtze River Valley, China and rice (oryza sativa L.) domestication: The phytolith evidence
Version of Record online: 8 FEB 2000
Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Volume 15, Issue 2, pages 203–222, February 2000
How to Cite
Zhao, Z. and Piperno, D. R. (2000), Late Pleistocene/Holocene Environments in the middle Yangtze River Valley, China and rice (oryza sativa L.) domestication: The phytolith evidence. Geoarchaeology, 15: 203–222. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1520-6548(200002)15:2<203::AID-GEA5>3.0.CO;2-J
- Issue online: 8 FEB 2000
- Version of Record online: 8 FEB 2000
- Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Phytolith data from Poyang Lake, southern China, indicate that significant natural and human-induced vegetational changes have occurred in the middle Yangtze River valley, the likely hearth of rice (Oryza sativa L.) domestication, during the Late Pleistocene and Holocene periods. During the Late Pleistocene (from >13,500 to ca. 10,500 yr B.P.) the climate was cooler and drier than today's. Oryza appears to have been a natural component of the vegetation at that time, but may not have been well adapted to the glacial climatic conditions. The early Holocene climate may have been wetter and more markedly seasonal that at present, and wild Oryza species may have been distributed further north than seen today. By 4000 yr B.P., rice agriculture appears to have been well developed in the middle Yangtze River Valley. Environmental factors such as atmospheric CO2 concentrations and the seasonality of precipitation and temperature in addition to overall cooler and drier Pleistocene climates may have significantly influenced human exploitation of Oryza during the Late Pleistocene and early Holocene in southern China. © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.