China began cultivating millet 10,000 years ago


Evidence of glutinous millet's cultivation has been found in the northern province of Hebei that could date back to 10,000 years, said Chinese archaeologists Sunday.

Lab results showed that remains of glutinous millet found at archaeological sites in Cishan village in the city of Wu'an were harvested during the neolithic era between 8,700 to 10,000 years ago, said scientists with the Institute of Geology and Geophysics of China Academy of Sciences.

This means Cishan was the birthplace of the crop, said Xinhua.

They have also found remains of foxtail millet, which could date back to between 8,700 and 7,500 years, said Lu Houyuan, a scientist.

Cultivating small-seeded dry crops was more prevalent than cultivating rice in pre-historic times, especially in China's semi-arid northern regions, Lu said.

A total of 50,000 kg of grains have been stored in 88 pits for thousands of years at the Cishan site, a Neolithic site discovered in 1972.

In addition to grain remnants, pottery, stone tools, animal bones and bone artefacts have also been excavated from the site.