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The ?first farmer? belonged to (UP) India, says ASI

CHINA?S ?FIRST farmer? crown is up for grabs! Archaeological findings in Lahuradeva in Sant Kabir Nagar district have indicated that the Middle Ganga Valley (Uttar Pradesh) might have been home to the First Farmer.

india Updated: Jan 09, 2006 01:08 IST
Hindustantimes
         

CHINA’S ‘FIRST farmer’ crown is up for grabs! Archaeological findings in Lahuradeva in Sant Kabir Nagar district have indicated that the Middle Ganga Valley (Uttar Pradesh) might have been home to the First Farmer.

The State Archaeological Department, which has carried out excavation at the mound of Lahuradeva, says the findings indicate that ancient humans residing in this valley bid adieu to nomadic life and took to farming and domestication of animals during the New Stone Age. 

Historians and archaeologists around the world have been debating over the home of the First Farmer. The Chinese claim that first time farming started in their country 10,000-years back. But Middle East and West Asian countries have countered this asserting that first farming started in their river valleys.

In India, the archaeological remains so far had indicated that farming started 5,000 to 6,000 years back. But scholar and historians were not willing to buy the findings, specially when the country had all the resources for agriculture? In India too agriculture practices should have started earlier or at the same period as in other civilizations, they asserted.

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 — 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 Eastern UP plain, where even today the farmers preferred rice cultivation, was the rice bowl in this period. Ancient habitants of Middle East and West Asian countries preferred barley and wheat, while the Chinese grew rice.
The mound of Lahuradeva is a holy spot for natives of Jagdishpur village located nearby.

The villagers believe that it is abode of Samai Mai and with her blessing they have been harvesting good crop. But the villagers were ignorant of the fact that agriculture pattern followed by their forefathers laid buried under the mound.
During Neolithic Period, the people gave up hunting and food gathering practice. They took to farming and domesticating animals. It paved way for early settlements and village community.

The State Archaeological Department has now decided to put the findings before the scholars who are engaged in the study of first farming culture world over. Some of the top scholars, including Prof Peter Bellwood (Australia), Prof Toshiki Osada (Japan), Prof Tan Linghua (China), Dr FE Jarriege and Dr C Jarriege (France), Dr Dorian Fuller and Dr Harriet Hunt (United Kingdom), Dr Steve Waber (Canada) and Dr Prematilake (Sri Lanka), will be in Lucknow on January 18 to scan the Lahuradeva finding and to study the archaeological remains of the ancient civilization.