The First Farmer: From India?

The findings indicate that people residing in this area too started farming 10,000 years back

Recent discoveries in archaeology are pushing back the dates of many civilizations. The discovery of murals and writing in a Mayan site in San Bartolo in the lowlands of northeastern Guatemala pushed the dates for Mayan art and writing to 250 – 100 B.C. Now a single grain of rice is showing that developed civilization may have existed in India about 7000 years back, much before the Harappan civilization.

The Archaeological Survey of India had started excavating many sites across the country looking for evidence of cultures that pre-dated the Indus Valley Civilization and the main sites are Virana (Haryana) and Lahudadev (UP)

“This would mean that there were pockets were urbanisation would have started before the well-developed urban civilisation of the Harappans,” said Mani.

But now we have studied a variety of rice that was obtained from the Lahura-Deva site, which revealed that there were regular farming and cultivation activities going on in 6th century BC,” he said.

Mani also said that revelation of developed cultures should not be misunderstood as a separate civilisation.

“We have also received pieces of pottery and other evidence from sites like Lahura-Deva and they have created a lot of curiosity as they can themselves become a tool to trace the evolution of Harappan civilisation,” he added. [Grain of rice points to pre-Harappan culture]

The discoveries in Lahuradeva site also indicate that Middle Ganga Valley would have been the home of the first farmer. Previously it was believed that agriculture began in West Asia in a region known as the Fertile Crescent with the domestication of barley and wheat. Later a new Fertile Crescent was discovered in China where rice cultivation began much before agriculture in West Asia. In the Indian subcontinent wheat and barley cultivation began in Kachi Plain in Baluchistan(Pakistan) in the seventh millennium B.C.

Now recent excavations show that people in this region took to farming and domestication of animals much earlier.

Lahuradeva has now provided the answer. The archaeologists here have found remains of carbonised material containing grains of cultivated rice along with wild grass. There are several layers of ancient civilization buried under the mound â?? as the archaeologists found out when they dug deeper..

The findings indicate that people residing in this area too started farming 10,000 years back. Talking to Hindustan Times, director State Archaeological Department Rakesh Tiwari said the habitation deposits had been divided into a five-fold tentative culture sequence, including Early Farming Phase, Copper Age, Early Iron Age, NBPW and Early Centuries BC/ AD.

The cultural remains of Early Farming Phase, including potsherds, charred and un-charred bones, scattered small pieces of charcoal, small burnt chunks of clay, a small piece of stone and tortoise shell, were found here. Ceramic industries of the period consisted of hand made red ware, black and red ware, he said. [The â??first farmerâ?? belonged to (UP) India, says ASI]

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