Ancient rice seeds unearthed in Hunan Province

Five ancient rice seeds have been discovered by Chinese and American archeologists who were conducting joint research on the origin of rice cultivation in Dao County of south China's Hunan Province.

The find was made at the ruins of Yuchanyan on November 19. The mystery of rice cultivation of mankind is hopeful to be unveiled.

As experts introduced, the entire research is composed of several parts including excavation and post-experiment and research. Excavation started on November 1 and will last early December.

Yuchanyan is a natural rock cavity. A highlight of the exploration this time was an excavation unit with a height of four meters and a width of 0.5 meter. Through sampling and floatation, there left animal bones, shells and charcoal in the specimens. More amazingly, five carbonized ancient rice seeds were found on November 19.

The discovery of four most primitive rice seed shells and pottery at the site of Yuchanyan in 1990s pushed the rice-cultivating history of human beings back to 12, 000 years ago. The find was regarded as one of China's most significant archaeologist discoveries in the 20th century.

After preliminary studies, experts think that the site of Yuchanyan is the world's best preserved earliest remain of ancient cultivated rice ever discovered.

By People's Daily Online

People's Daily Online ---