New evidence suggests that India & China cultivated rice at the same time


It was once believed the ancient civilizations of India were not introduced to harvesting rice, but the newest evidence suggests that the Indus civilization had curry dishes 5000 years ago.

Research shows that they might have their hot dishes as takeaways as well. New evidence provides proof that the Indus harvested rice and that this coincided with the time the Chinese began using complex farming techniques.

Indian curries Photo Credit
Indian curries Photo Credit

The researchers have found out that the ancient Indus people were rice horticulturalists. This came after it was previously thought that China introduced rice farming to India. Now it seems that rice was long cultivated by the Indus, used in their curries, dhals, and millet dishes. More intriguing is that they were enjoying curry as early as 2800 BC, during the Bronze Age.

The discovery comes from a rare find of one of India’s staple meals, curry. Curry, which is enjoyed throughout the country and the world, has shed light on India’s past. The specimens show that they had domesticated rice before other major civilizations at the time, such as those of ancient Egypt and China’s Shang Dynasty.


Rice and Chenopodium album leaf curry with onions and potatoes; a vegetarian curry Photo Credit
Rice and Chenopodium album leaf curry with onions and potatoes (a vegetarian curry)  Photo Credit

The Indus population settled across today’s Pakistan and Northwest India.

It has now emerged that the Indus people were specialized horticulturalists. Their cities had a population of over 40,000 people due to their cutting edge farming techniques which allowed them to harvest surplus foods. Higher food production meant that they could expand their population and also allowed them to trade the extra goods at trade centers or hubs. This provided rapid growth and expansion.

The research into this new finding also confirms that they used complex multi-cropping strategies that made it easier for them to farm. During the summers they were able to cultivate rice, millet, and beans and during the colder season,s they switched to farming crops like wheat and barley. These farming techniques provided a diverse diet for the Indus.

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