The article that I chose this week was entitled “Ancient Rice DNA Data Provides New View of Domestication History”. It discussed how there are four types of domestic rice yet only two are seen throughout the world. That Japonica rice is the common rice found in Northern Asia but when excavating sites from across the area within the last three thousand years we see that Indica rice was most common. The process requires finding DNA from rice from the past and then comparing them to a database of modern rice that contained two hundred and sixteen varieties. It shows that domestication processes involve reducing the genetic diversity of a species resulting in the Japonica rice being the most domesticated.
Using this information it may one day be possible to determine the relative domestication of a society based on the evidence left behind by their food. By understanding the ways that rice have changed over many years may allow us to see how well a society is doing because evidence of certain rice types may show mastery of the land by choosing to domesticate a rice that is hardier in dry climates or requires less work to maintain. It may also allow us to track trading of different rice types by showing which cultures grew which rice and whether it shows up in other locations.