, Volume 52, Issue 24, pp 3376-3384

Neolithic rice paddy from the Zhaojiazhuang site, Shandong, China

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To identify and study the Neolithic rice paddy in Shandong, eastern China, is not only an important issue in the development of Chinese rice agriculture, but also a key part of the study on rice spread in East Asia. Due to the limitation of archaeological materials and the research methods, there have been no discoveries about the Neolithic rice paddy in Shandong Province for a long time. Based on the identification of possible rice paddy by archaeological excavation, phytolith analysis of soil samples from this “paddy” has been systematically carried out and the results have shown a 4600–4300 years old rice paddy preserved at the Zhaojiazhuang site. This is the first examination and study of the rice paddy in North China by systematic phytolith analysis, which is very important for the Neolithic archaeological research and the study of the eastward spread of rice agricultural techniques in East Asia.

Supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 40572103)