Sunday, November 12, 2017

There Was A Rice Domestication In The Amazon

Rice was independently domesticated in Asia, Africa and South America. In South America wild rice was domesticated around 9,000 years ago and was abandoned when Europeans arrived. Pre-Columbian farmers in the Amazon farmed both corn and New World rice.

The detailed agricultural history pieced together with 320 remnants of rice plants from a dig in the Amazon corroborates earlier archaeological evidence of civilization in the Amazon with cities as large as 50,000 during the Middle Ages.


NKent805 said...

They invented everything else independently , why not rice? It just goes to show how ignorant western society was, and is, in regards to Native American people, their acheivements, and civilizations.

andrew said...

This is an achievement that was not known to pretty much anyone, native Brazilians included, in the past several centuries and was pretty much completely unexpected. Sometimes the past is forgotten.

There was a widespread oral legendary-historical memory of a pre-Columbian urban civilization in the Amazon. There was no similar historical memory of rice cultivation. Nobody has ever seen any evidence of a domesticated strain of New World rice before now, only wild rice.

Also, this is a crop that couldn't grow where it used to in current ecological conditions.

Also, this is notable, because all of the other known New World domesticates are from the Americans Southeast, Meso-America or the Andes. This is evidence for the first time of independent new crop domestications in the Amazon adding it to a short list of places in the entire world where this has happened (two or three in Africa), a couple in Europe, a couple in China, possibly one in India (it is unclear if any of the key domesticates were local as opposed to imported), arguably one in Indonesia, one in Papua New Guinea and the three previously mentioned in the Americas. So, before this discovery thirteen tops, worldwide, for all of history. Now, fourteen.

Guy said...

Link rot at armers as opposed to farmers.