GGS affiliate faculty Linda Perry has a paper published in Scientific Reports (5:16251) this week, on “Barnyard grasses were processed with rice around 10000 years ago”. Scientific Reports is an online sister publication of Nature. (Link: http://www.nature.com/articles/srep16251)
Linda Perry is a Fulbright Senior Specialist in archaeobotany and a former Smithsonian Fellow, Research Collaborator, and Research Associate. Linda’s work incorporates archaeobotanical analyses into ancient contexts to gain insight into the behavior, organization, and development of past societies. To study these subjects she employs many methods including microfossil analyses of both artifacts and sediments, macrobotanical analysis, and wood identification.
Abstract: Rice (Oryza sativa) is typically believed to be the only grass that was selected for cultivation and eventual domestication in the Yangtze basin of China. New evidence from microfossils recovered from the Early Neolithic site of Shangshan, dating to more than 10,000 years before present (BP), indicating barnyard grass (Echinochloa spp.) was also a major subsistence resource, alongside smaller quantities of acorns (Lithocarpus/Quercus sensu lato) and water chestnuts (Trapa). This evidence suggests that early managed wetland environments in south China were initially harvested for multiple grain species.