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Agricultural Practice on the Korean Peninsula Taking into Account the Origin of Rice Agriculture in Asia

https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2017.45.1.036-048

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Abstract

Based on Carl Sauer’s hypothesis that agricultural activity may have occurred fi rst with the domestication of tropical plants, rice was long thought to have originated in Southeast Asia, where the climate is very warm and humid, with plenty of rainfall. After many new archaeological sites with evidence of older cultivated rice were discovered throughout the 1980s and 1990s in China, agricultural scientists now generally consider the middle Yangtze River and Yunnan regions, which are farther north than Southeast Asia, as the cradle of the earliest rice cultivation. The dates and geographic locations of historic rice cultivation have been challenged even further after carbonized rice hulls were excavated from the Sorori Village in central South Korea. This paper introduces theoretical arguments related to the transition period from foraging to farming systems in Korean archaeology and regarding the origins of rice, which is currently the most important crop for Northeast Asian peoples. A brief survey of research results, the ecological conditions of Northeast Asia, the biological uniqueness of rice, and archaeological evidence for rice cultivation from the Sorori site in Korea suggests that while we do not have any strong reason to believe that there is only one center of agricultural and domestication processes, and multiple origins for domesticated rice are still conceivable, temporal and spatial frames for the early history of rice cultivation need to be expanded.

About the Author

Lee Jaehoon
University of Houston-Clear Lake
United States
Campus Box 24, 2700 Bay Area Blvd., Houston, TX 77058 USA


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For citation:


Jaehoon L. Agricultural Practice on the Korean Peninsula Taking into Account the Origin of Rice Agriculture in Asia. Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia. 2017;45(1):36-48. (In Russ.) https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2017.45.1.036-048

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