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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 2018-05-01 06:44 AM

Horrocks M, Acabado S, Peterson J. 2018. Asian Perspectives 57, 159-176.


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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