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The Hemudu site was the earliest area in China where paddy rice was domesticated
Paleolithic period in China approximately started from 1.7 million years ago and lasted until 8000 years ago. Since China is one of the four regions where humankind began to civilize, many human fossils and their cultural remains were discovered. From such remains and fossils, historians marked five different stages of the development in Prehistoric society in China: |
Yuanmou Man - Lantian - Man Peking Man - Tingcun Man - Upper Cave Man
In Eastern Monsoon China, the groups of ancient humans were sparsely scattered. Those people had several characteristics: They were loosely organized by kinship groups. Each group worked and lived together mostly in caves. They survived by gathering, fishing, and hunting. They used crude Paleolithic tools. They used fire, it had significant effects on their immediate surroundings.
Following the Paleolithic period is the Neolithic period. From 8000 to 4000 years ago, early agricultural sites appeared in small patches almost all over China, especially in the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River and Chang Jiang. This time period is so-called the legendary period of Three Rulers and Five Emperors.
Two farming systems stood out from the very beginning: The dry farming in northern China with the middle and lower Yellow River as its core during the early Neolithic times, the Loess Plateau and its borderland were the origin and center of dry farming in ancient China. It was gradually developed and initially extended to the North China Plain and the middle Chang Jiang valley before it was widened to the other parts of China. The paddy rice farming in southern China with the middle and lower Chang Jiang valley, and northern southeast coast as its center. the Hemudu site was the earliest area in China where rice was domesticated; here large quantities of domesticated paddy rice was discovered. Then the paddy rice was spread to the Chang Jiang basin and the other areas of southern China before it was broaden to the other parts of China and the neighboring countries.
The earliest agricultural stages in China were described by Dadiwan, Cishan, Peligan, and Hemudu cultures; such cultural sites had been excavated on the borderlands of Loess Plateau, Peligang of northwestern Henan Province, and Cishan of southwestern Hebei Province.