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Feeding the wonder of our origins

Updated: 2021-12-09 09:47 ( China Daily )
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Some pottery pieces excavated from the paddy fields.[Photo provided to China Daily]

While older grains of rice have been discovered in China-in Shangshan Culture dating back 10,000 years, also located in today's Zhejiang province, carbonized rice was found-this is the first discovery of a complete, ancient rice-growing system, including paddies and irrigation channels.

"Our previous studies mainly focused on the grains, like the evolution of their varieties, to reflect how people cultivated them," Chen Xingcan, director of the Institute of Archaeology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, says. "But the Shi'ao site offers a rare chance to directly study human farming activities."

The discovery of the Shi'ao site may also greatly contribute to studies of a bigger picture surrounding Liangzhu Culture.

The Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2019. It indicates a jade-worshipping civilization and the capital city of a regional state, covering a significant area around Taihu Lake.

A developed water conservation system was found around the city ruins. An estimated 200,000 kilograms of carbonated rice was unearthed in a core area of the city, but no ancient rice paddies have been found within the city ruins.

At the Maoshan site, near the Liangzhu ruins, a group of small-scale rice paddies was discovered, once thought to be a "state-owned farm", and these new findings at the Shi'ao site offer more clues to the social structure of that regional state from an agricultural perspective.

"The discovery of rice in Liangzhu city means there must have been a national-level system for rice production," Li Xinwei, a researcher with the Institute of Archaeology, says. "The Shi'ao site was thought to be on a marginal area of Liangzhu Culture, but the new findings may give us a new perspective."

Song Xinchao, deputy director of the National Cultural Heritage Administration, expects upcoming research at the Shi'ao site to unveil specific rice-growing technology of the time.

"We can also see how farmlands were managed," Song says.

"However, it's only a start, and it's too early to draw firm conclusions."

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The news conference of the 2022 China International Travel Mart, Kunming, Yunnan province. [Photo/Chinaculture.org]

The 2022 China International Travel Mart was launched in Kunming, Yunnan province today. The three-day event opened at the Kunming Dianchi Lake International Convention and Exhibition Centre, with a theme focusing on smart innovation and high-quality tourism industry aspects.

The news conference was held in the city on Thursday. Zhang Xilong, first class inspector of the Bureau of the International Communication and Cooperation of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China and Lou Kewei, deputy-director of the Department of Culture and Tourism of Yunnan province presented the meeting along with academy and entrepreneur representatives.

The conference introduced the preparations and relevant activities of the mart, such as a forum on smart tourism and innovation, a symposium on international travel communication and cooperation in the framework of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and a workshop on the China-Laos railway’s contribution to building an Asian community with a shared future.

According to the news meeting, the 2022 travel mart covers about 80,000 square meters, with about 4,200 standard booths. 71 countries and regions attended the event both online and offline, and 31 domestic provinces, cities and autonomous regions and 261 independent exhibition teams.

Online services will be provided to the overseas buyers and sellers in the light of time zones. They could also have a face-to-face negotiation at the mart as well.

The mart also has diverse displays to show culture and tourism, physical education and tourism, as well as overseas tourism and museums.

The National Cultural Heritage Administration, the Palace Museum and museums from other provinces will attend the travel mart.

At the event, Yunnan province will have 2,000 standard booths in four separate sections; each will show culture tourism, healthy lifestyles, physical education tourism and culture tourism consumption.

The travel mart will also stick to the rules of pandemic prevention and control while having the activities go on smoothly.

The news conference of the 2022 China International Travel Mart, Kunming, Yunnan province. [Photo/Chinaculture.org]
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