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Plant microfossil results from Old Kiyyangan Village: Looking for the introduction and expansion of wet-field rice (Oryza sativa) cultivation in the Ifugao Rice Terraces, Philippine Cordilleras

by Mark Horrocks last modified 2017-07-26 10:44 AM

Horrocks M, Acabado S, Peterson J. Asian Perspectives.


Pollen, phytolith and starch analyses were carried out on 12 samples from two trenches in Old Kiyyangan Village, Ifugao Province, providing evidence for human activity from c. 810-750 cal BP. Seed phytoliths and endosperm starch of cf. rice (Oryza sativa), coincident with aquatic Potamogeton pollen and sponge spicule remains, provide preliminary evidence for wet-field cultivation of rice at the site. The first rice remains appear c. 675 cal BP in terrace sediments. There is a marked increase in these remains after c. 530-470 cal BP, supporting previous studies suggesting late expansion of the cultivation of wet-field rice in the region, which has commonly assumed to have been as early as 2000-3000 years ago. The study represents initial, sediment-derived, ancient starch evidence for O. sativa, and initial, sediment-derived, ancient phytolith evidence for this species in the Philippines.


Philippines, Ifugao Rice Terraces, rice (Oryza sativa), pollen, phytoliths, starch.

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